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SPOTLIGHT
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Consider the plan

Published on -11/1/2012, 12:50 PM

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If you think Halloween produces scary things, Gov. Sam Brownback's tax plan tops anything. According to the Kansas Policy Institute, an ultra-conservative Koch-backed group, if it hadn't been for the stimulus monies in 2010, the state would have had to cut $1 billion from the budget. They report Brownback's plan will require the largest one-year cut in state spending.

State agency officials have been instructed to prepare spending plans which cut 10 percent or more. Sen. Les Donovan, a Wichita Republican who heads the Senate Taxation Committee said, "I don't know if people are ready to give up some of the services."

With education having the greatest percent of the budget, where do you think the money to make up for the revenue loss is going to come from? The plan creates the elimination of income taxes for about 190,000 business owners. An attorney would have no state income tax to pay, but the secretary and clerical staff -- the lowest paid positions -- would pay income tax. Those who will suffer most from the new tax law, according to an analysis by the Kansas Department of Revenue, are about 288,000 of the state's poorest people, mostly due to the reduction or elimination of tax credits and services. The consequence of the tax plan is an increase in sales and property taxes, which are more regressive than taxes on income. This will leave only wage earners with income tax liabilities.

Charles and David Koch helped launch Americans for Prosperity, the anti-tax group that has been a major donor to conservative Republican candidates, including Brownback, Marc Rhoades and dozens of other Kansas legislators. Koch's plan has worked well as they are major recipients of Brownback's plan to eliminate their income tax. Koch will have a nice return on its Legislature purchase.

You have the chance to turn this around in the election Tuesday. If you favor a candidate because of their party affiliation, consider their position on Brownback's tax plan. It is important you are not voting against your best interest and just because they represent a particular party, a vote in favor of the tax plan is not in your best interest.

Shelley Dunham, Council Grove

Louise Smith, Hesston

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