Center on Budget & Policy Priorites - Five years ago, Kansas slashed income tax rates, eliminated income taxes entirely for many businesses, and enacted further income tax rate cuts to phase in several years into the future, aiming eventually to eliminate the income tax. Gov. Brownback called his efforts a “red state model” and claimed the tax cuts would act “like a shot of adrenaline into the heart of the Kansas economy.”
Rather than generate an economic boom, however, the tax cuts wreaked havoc on Kansas’ ability to invest in its people and infrastructure. To balance its budget, the state employed gimmicks and one-time revenue, delayed road projects, cut services, and nearly drained funds it had set aside to prepare for the next recession. Two bond rating agencies downgraded
Kansas due to its budget problems. Meanwhile, job growth has lagged far
behind job growth nationally, and the hoped-for economic boom shows no
signs of materializing (see graph).