It should come as no surprise that the most economically disastrous governor in Kansas history would torpedo a late-in-the-game round of tax cuts for Kansans who are already paying the state all-time record tribute, and watching state coffers overflow with a surplus of our money.
This is the governor, after all, whose logic during Covid was to shut the whole state down despite the lack of scientific reasoning; to close your businesses and keep you home from your jobs, your schools and your churches. Kelly lock-stepped with the Democrat Covid orthodoxy to thwart your communities and your livelihood and made you dependent on government handouts and hanging on her next authoritarian utterance. So it’s only logical now, at least to her, to keep your taxes yielding a $3.2 billion state surplus while inflation eats your household budget and while she offers $1.5 billion in tax exemptions/tax cuts to big business corporate welfare projects. These days, even amid 40-year high inflation and after all she’s done to us, Governor Kelly still thinks government is a better place for your money than your own pocket.
Dear Governor Kelly: Gas is $3.40 a gallon and headed even higher this summer. Both new and used cars and their financing are so expensive almost nobody can buy either one. The ridiculous wind farms you endorse are making electric rates skyrocket all across the state, and a ribeye steak at the grocery store costs $16. Would you mind giving us back some of our damn money, so we can survive in this sucking financial vortex you and Joe Biden have created?
Kelly’s decision to prioritize big business giveaways over Kansas families and individual tax payers isn’t unbelievable, but that doesn’t make it any less despicable. While the state rakes in a $3.2 billion revenue surplus (yes, that’s “billion” with a “b”) Kelly’s veto of the Legislature’s recent concurrent resolution denied you a more immediate end to the grocery sales tax next January. Kelly also denied you the chance to exempt more of your property value from the state school tax, and she slapped senior citizens in the face by putting the kibosh to the exemption of state income taxes on social security benefits.
Think that’s enough? Think again.
CCR 169 would also have increased your state income tax standard deduction each year based on inflation – but that kind of “if this, then that” safety measure math just didn’t make sense to Governor Kelly. Nor did accelerating already-passed business income tax cuts and cutting privilege taxes for banks.
But what really made the governor’s hair curl was CCR 169’s plan to create a single tax bracket – a “flat tax” – of 5.15 percent for every income tax filer in the State of Kansas (the poorest earners in the state don’t have to file). It’s simple math – a nickel out of a dollar is… well… a nickel. Every time.
But the concept, as far as Kelly’s concerned, means you’d get to keep too much of the money you earned. Can’t have that – not in a state where the governor still obsesses about lowering the bar so a bunch more Kansans who now make too much money to get Medicaid benefits can qualify for freebies – all while the rest of us pay more, of course.
Kelly’s plot against your wallet would have failed if a single nay vote on the override in the Senate had been thinking about your best interests. You may want to write or call Democrat Senators Ethan Corson, Oletha Faust-Goudeau, Marci Francisco, David Haley, Tom Holland, Cindy Holscher, Pat Pettey, Jeff Pittman, Usha Reddi, Dinah Sykes, Mary Ware or Republicans John Doll, Rob Olson, Carolyn McGinn or Kelly’s favorite employment security Judas himself – Dennis Pyle – and let them know how much you appreciate their concern for you.
So despite what the rest of the Legislature you elected tried to do for you, you’re going to have to tighten your belt just a little bit more and for just a little bit longer while Kelly lights corporate fat cat cigars with billion dollar bills. After all, what right do you have to your own money, anyway?
Dane Hicks is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and the United States Marine Corps Officer Candidate School at Quantico, VA. He is the author of novels "The Skinning Tree" and "A Whisper For Help." As publisher of the Anderson County Review in Garnett, KS., he is a recipient of the Kansas Press Association's Boyd Community Service Award as well as more than 60 awards for excellence in news, editorial and photography.