The following is reference to the July 6 article, “Kansas tax revenues exceed expectations, indicate filled jobs,” written by The Topeka Capital-Journal and published in The Ottawa Herald.
Kansas Revenue Secretary Sam Williams said the increased tax revenue indicated a growth in wages and jobs in the state. This might be partially true, but there are other factors at play.
Through Fiscal Year 2012, Kansas Supplemental Schedule for adjustments to gross income for itemized deductions were the same as Federal Schedule A. Both federal and state gave the choice of a standard deduction or actual expenses, whichever was the most. These actual expenses included: medical, property taxes, mortgage interest, charity and miscellaneous.
Starting in 2013, Kansas allowed 100 percent of charity, but only 70 percent of other expenses. In 2014, Kansas allowed 100 percent for charity, but only 65 percent for other expenses. In 2015, Kansas allowed 100 percent for charity, but only 50 percent of other expenses.
Then in 2016, Kansas allowed 100 percent for charity and 0 percent for medical and 50 percent for taxes and mortgage.
This did not affect low-income taxpayers, and the highest-income taxpayers have a cap on expenses according to income. But the middle-income taxpayers were hit hard, especially senior citizens and others who own their own homes.
All of this — but especially those with large medical bills for 2016 — contributed to the increase in taxes paid in the January through June 2017 time frame.
As you can see, the changes in taxes were lowered in some places, but increased in others.
Any legislator who voted for these changes, starting in 2013, showed disrespect for the middle-class, senior citizens and homeowners.
— O. David Scheib, Paola