To the editor:
Efforts are being made to defeat Mary Jo Taylor (R-Stafford) for the 33rd State Senate seat. That would be a mistake, at least for the reasons given.
The argument against her is she voted for a $1.2 billion “tax hike” on middle class and poor Kansans, the largest hike in history. That’s misleading.
In 2012, Governor Brownback pushed hard for an income tax phaseout and eliminated taxes on “pass through” business formations, like limited liability companies and S Corporations. These entities push income out to individual investors. The repeal removed taxes on these investors altogether. Such repeal promised economic growth.
It was a great idea if it had worked. The Governor promised it would create tens of thousands of new jobs and bring prosperity. The legislature approved it.
It didn’t work.
Brownback failed to tie the tax relief to job creation. Members of LLCs and S Corps got the tax decrease, but not enough jobs were created to offset revenue loss.
With lower revenues and without corresponding cuts in programs, a deficit grew. And grew. Unlike the federal government, which can live with deficits, Kansas Governments have balanced budget obligations.
Newsweek called the plan “a trickle-down economics ... nightmare.” In 2014 our state bond rating was downgraded as the budget crisis escalated.
In 2017 and 2018, new changes in Washington developed a roaring economy, but the recovery in Kansas was slow.
Someone had to make tough decisions about a fiscal program that wasn’t working. The Governor didn’t. The 2017 legislature, reluctantly, had to step in and fill the hole the Governor created.
In 2016, Mary Jo campaigned on restoring fiscal integrity. She was elected. Now she’s being attacked for being truthful.
Mary Jo Taylor is a conservative. She is pro-business. She was a charter member of the Stafford County EcoDevo Board. She is strong on health care; her district includes Larned State Hospital, one of the district’s largest employers.
Send her back to Topeka on our behalf. Re-elect her.
Ronald D. Smith