Kansans concerned about school funding, say Brownback tax cuts hurt economy, according to poll

Eighty-five percent of Kansans are concerned that the state isn’t spending enough on public education and 73 percent believe Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax policies have hurt the Kansas economy, according to a new statewide poll.

Officials with the Kansas Center for Economic  Growth, which commissioned the poll, said the survey shows legislators should reverse Brownback’s tax cuts as the legislative session nears adjournment next week before a wrap up session starts May 1.

“As the Legislature heads into its final week of work, hopefully this survey will incentivize policymakers to tackle tax reform as soon as possible,” said Heidi Holliday, executive director of KCEG.

KCEG has advocated for repeal of Brownback’s phased in elimination of the state income tax, reinstating the top income tax bracket of 6.45 percent, closing the LLC exemption, reducing the food sales tax rate and an increase in the state gasoline tax.

Duane Goossen, former state budget director who worked for Republican and Democratic governors and KCEG Senior Fellow, said the poll results show strong support for tax increases to balance the budget and help schools.

“The top takeaway here is that Kansans are dialed in and fired up,” said Goossen. “They want commonsense leadership that will balance the budget, restore funding to Kansas schools, and end this era of fiscal crisis for good. Repealing the Brownback tax plan will accomplish all of these goals,” he said.

The poll is based on a telephone survey of 700 registered voters in Kansas and has a plus or minus margin of error of four percent. It was conducted March 20-22.

The poll taker, TargetSmart, concluded that the results “paint the picture of a governor whose base is fractured and who has lost nearly all support for his signature legislative accomplishment. The legislature’s current push to reverse course by rolling back Brownback’s tax cuts is in sync with the will of Kansas voters. Despite the electorate’s strong conservative tilt, this poll highlights a paradigm shift away from Brownback-style austerity, and towards a more progressive revenue plan that adequately funds Kansas public schools.”

The poll also shows that only 24 percent of Kansans approve of the job Brownback is doing.

Here is a link to the poll.

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