Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration is preparing a package of lower taxes and regulatory reforms that could serve as a national model, the secretary of the Kansas Department of Revenue said last week.
Addressing the first meeting of the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors, Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan said the plan would include lower income tax rates for individuals and lower state taxes for small business owners.
“I think people are going to look at us and go 'wow,’ ” he said. “The governor has the goal to be number one. We have always fallen in the middle.”
In opening the session, Brownback urged the panelists to find ways to amend the state’s regulatory and fiscal policies in support of private-sector job growth.
“We have not been growing the state the way we need to,” he said. “We’re certainly seeking input to get our state machinery going in the right direction.”
Brownback said he would present the 2012 Legislature with a package of proposals when it convenes in January.
The Republican governor created the panel of business executives and government leaders to advise him on reforming the tax code. It replaced Kansas Inc., which had been the state’s economic development coordinator since 1991.
Brownback said Secretary of Administration Dennis Taylor will hold meetings across the state in October to get feedback on a list of proposed regulatory reforms.
Budget director Steve Anderson told the panelists that Kansas will probably end fiscal 2012 with a surplus of $230 million, but a more pessimistic forecast model shows a deficit of $200 million.
Anderson said the latest reports from the Legislative Research Department indicate revenue in the first two months of fiscal 2012 of $856.3 million is 3% more than expected and 8% more than in the first two months of fiscal 2011. However, he said two months is not enough time to detect a trend so far for fiscal 2012. The panel will meet again in November.