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January 27, 2013 - In This Issue:
Jim in Senate Office
  • Currently, only about 30% of Kansans itemize tax deductions
  • As of January 1st, 2013, the standard deductions used by 70% of Kansans increased from $4,500 to $9,000 for individuals and $6,000 to $9,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly
  • Kansas has the 10th lowest unemployment rate in the nation, currently at 5.4%
  • Total taxpayer support for public education in Kansas is $5.771 billion a year
  • Only 54% of total school funding reaches the classroom for instruction

Governor's Task Force Submits Final Recommendations
School Books Apple

Last year Governor Brownback appointed an 11-member task force to evaluate our state's finance and budgeting regarding education. Since September, the task force has met three times and spent their time analyzing education funding, examined how to spend it more efficiently and researched ways to eliminate wasteful spending not focused on the classroom.


This week the task force presented their final recommendations. These changes are geared toward putting more money in the classroom and less in administration and overhead costs.


Below are three of their recommendations. Click here for the complete report containing the groups' 12 recommendations.

  • Establish a statutorily-required two-year school funding cycle
  • Revise/narrow the Professional Negotiations Act to prevent it from hindering operational flexibility and resource assignments
  • Require that a university level finance, accounting, and budget management course be included in school district leadership licensing requirements, if not already included
Governor Brownback Releases Additional Details on his Tax Plan

This week Governor Brownback released additional details regarding his tax plan. In addition to tax relief of half-a-billion-dollars over five years, the Governor proposes using state revenue growth greater than four percent to ratchet rates down further until the state income tax is eliminated. In exchange for much lower income rates, the plan leaves the state sales tax flat at its current level of 6.3% and further simplifies the tax code by eliminating the mortgage interest and real estate deductions. The Governor's tax plan will be introduced in Assessment and Taxation early next week.  


With concerns growing over the elimination of these deductions, it was noted an average of 70 percent of Kansans use the standard deduction and will not be impacted in any way by the elimination of itemized deductions. Changes to itemized deductions at the state level do not impact federal itemized deductions, which are much larger and still available to Kansans eligible to itemize. Furthermore, the value of itemized deductions at the state level is greatly reduced by the value of large reductions in overall tax rates and significant increases in standard deductions.


My constituents have made it clear they want to have input and understand the reasoning of the proposal to eliminate the mortgage deduction. Message received loud and clear.


The Senate is committed to providing further tax relief for Kansans and to creating a competitive business environment in our state. The private market is where true job creation is made and, in order for Kansas to be competitive, state government must leave more of Kansan's hard-earned money in their pockets. For too long Kansas' high taxes have driven businesses to other states where there is little or no state income tax, like Texas and Florida.


The legislature will continue to discuss tax policy to encourage more growth and more jobs. As this processes continues, I look forward to hearing from you, as this topic affects every one of us.

KS GDP at $126 Billion

KS projected GDP growth for 2013 is 3%. The below bar graph shows the major segments of the Kansas economy. Figures are in millions.
KS GDP Bar Graph
Jim Denning

Jim Denning for Kansas Senate

11184 Antioch, Suite 290

Overland Park, KS 66210-2420


Paid for by "Jim Denning for Kansas Senate"
Kathy Vance, Treasurer

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