Testimony Opposing SB 22, Tax Windfall for Wealthy and Corporations

This is testimony delivered to the House Committee on Taxation in opposition to SB 22, a bill designed to give tax breaks to wealthy Kansans and multi-national corporations, rather than lower and middle class Kansans.

Testimony to House Committee on Taxation
Chair, Rep. Steven Johnson
Hearing: Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Position – OPPOSE SB 22

Chairman Johnson, and Members of the Committee, 

The MainStream Coalition strongly opposes passage of SB 22 as a risky return to the irresponsible tax policies of the past, at a time when the state has still not recovered from those very policies.

Senate proponents have invariably framed this bill as simply returning money to the Kansas middle class that the state never sought. In fact, this bill seeks to undo actions taken at the Federal level, and barely improves the lot of middle class Kansans at all. In fact, even using the numbers provided by the bill’s proponents—which they admit are only an estimate—only the wealthiest of individual Kansans would receive any return from this measure. In fact, the bulk of the benefit, $137 million of it, would go to multi-national corporations with a presence in Kansas.

The timing of this bill is particularly troublesome. The first priority should be to shore up a Constitutional school funding plan and address other deficits created over the last eight years of failed tax policy. Once the state is again on solid footing, we welcome a robust conversation on how the state can support working Kansas families through tax relief.

We urge the this committee to reject this measure. The notion, that it benefits the individual Kansans who need it most, is disingenuous at best. In fact, the bill would prevent needed funds from going to the parts of state government that do in fact benefit the middle class: education, infrastructure, and health care, among others.

We ask that this committee spend its time on measures that improve the lives of all Kansans, not just a very small subset of high wealth individuals and corporations.

Thank you,

Brandi Fisher
Executive Director of the MainStream Coalition

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