A new report says Missouri lawmakers should look at Kansas before approving any tax cuts in this legislative session. The report by the Washington, DC-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities argues that tax cuts in Kansas have deepened the damage done by the recession to schools, colleges and universities, and other key services and have failed to improve the state’s economy.
Missouri lawmakers may consider Senate Bill 509, which the report says would cost the state anywhere from $300 million to a billion dollars a year. The report also argues that the cuts would harm Missouri’s ability to fund education, mental health, public safety, and other services. SB 509 aims to cut income taxes beginning in 2017, but only if tax collections exceed those of any of the three previous years by at least $150 million.
The report examines Kansas’ performance on a number of measures in the first year after the tax cuts there took effect. It finds that job growth in Kansas has been slower than in the country as a whole since the tax cuts took effect and its labor force has actually shrunk during that period; school districts across the state have had to layoff teachers and counselors, and cut programs for students since the recession hit; and Kansas’ colleges and universities, courts, local libraries, health departments, and other key services also face a continued decline in state funding despite the end of the recession.
“Missourians deserve better than the empty promises of tax schemes that have failed in Kansas,” said Blouin. “Missouri should promote real long-term economic growth by investing in quality pre-k through higher education, state of the art infrastructure, and stable communities – what businesses really need to thrive.”