To the editor:
Those who claim that the tax cuts of 2012 were the cause of revenue shortfalls are willfully misleading voters. I’m sure Mr. Pittman doesn’t want voters to know that budgets and spending are based on reports from the Kansas CREG, Consensus Revenue Estimating Group. In 2015 the CREG failed to foresee national downturns in oil, gas, agriculture commodities and manufacturing. That miscalculation caused their “projected” revenue returns to fall short of expectations. The national downturns had a negative effect on virtually every state in the union. Projected returns from Kansas oil severance tax alone failed to meet CREG expectations by $200 million. States were seeing shortfalls in revenue returns but Kansas’ actual revenue dollars were coming in higher year after year.
It was the economic benefits from the 2012 tax cuts that kept Kansas from experiencing a decrease in “actual” revenue returns. Following the 2012 tax cuts Kansas set records every year in new business filings and Kansas unemployment was a whole percentage point lower than the national average. That is information that Mr. Pittman doesn’t want you to know.
In January 2016 the Kansas Department of Revenue reported that projected revenue returns fell short but "actual revenue returns," came in $21.6 million higher than the previous January. For the period from July to January revenue returns were .76 percent below CREG estimates but actual revenue returns were $73.4 million above the previous year-to-date report. Instead of controlling spending Mr. Pittman and his tax-and-spend friends used the shortfall in CREG projections to justify voting for the largest, retroactive, tax increase in Kansas history.
Kansas Legislative Research reported that without sweeps from KDOT, delayed KPERS payments and honoring the legislative mandate to end a budget with a 7.5 percent ending balance, legislators will need an additional $3 billion just to pay for their current budget obligations. It’s either cut spending or raise taxes and we know what Pittman will do.
We've seen the national economy take off thanks to the Trump tax cuts but in Kansas tax increases are causing us to miss out on the economic resurgence. National GDP is 4.2 percent. The highest it's been in a decade. Kansas GDP is currently the third lowest in the nation. It's time to get Kansas back on the track. We don't need job killing tax-and-spend policies in Kansas. This year let's support sound fiscal policy and candidates that will control spending and leave more money in the pockets of Kansas citizens. Obviously Democrats Pittman and Debbie Deere don’t like that idea.
On Nov. 6 let's elect David French and Tony Barton. These are candidates that will move Kansas in a positive and prosperous direction.