When pushing his tax cuts for Kansas in July 2012, Governor Sam Brownback wrote: “Our new pro-growth tax policy will be like a shot of adrenaline into the heart of the Kansas economy.” Art Laffer and Stephen Moore wrote that “many states like Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma are seriously considering abolishing their income taxes to accelerate growth,” and that they “have advised Oklahoma, Kansas, and other states to cut their income tax rates if they want the most effective immediate and lasting boost to their states’ economies.”
So, how’s it going?
Census released its 2014 Annual Survey of State Government Tax Collections today, which was not a good day if you’re Sam Brownback, Art Laffer, or Stephen Moore.
Kansas turned in the third worst performance in the US – its tax revenues dropped 3.8%. Below is the chart of total tax revenues for Kansas for the last 20+ years. As noted, Brownback made his comment in 2012 (highlighted on the chart). Tax revenues then slowed significantly in 2013, and turned decidedly negative in 2014:
(Source: FRED through 2013, author’s entry of 2014)
Below are the individual line items for tax categories in Kansas, with the collapse – by 15%, or $499 million – of Income Taxes, both personal and corporate, highlighted.
(Source: Census.gov, author calculations)
Perhaps the rebuttal will be that insufficient time has passed. Perhaps there will be some other excuse. However, as things stand right now, the Brownback tax experiment is looking like somewhat of a failure.