Part of Brownback's tax "experiment" included eliminating virtually all deductions that were available to lower-income and working people: the homestead exemption on rental housing, the child care tax credit; sales taxes were raised on food as well.
The one worker-friendly policy that remained on the books was the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This very effective anti-poverty measure is refundable, meaning the person gets it as cash back, whether they have an income tax liability or not.
For years anti-poverty advocates have been working to keep Kansas' EITC on the books, as the Brownbackers look for more ways to try to take benefits from poor people to pay for the tax cuts for the rich. Sr. Therese, for those of you who know her, has been working on this as basically her single issue for the past few sessions.
For most of this session it looked like they weren't going to make a run at the EITC; Sr. Therese and Amanda Gress of Kansas Action for Children did an informational presentation on it but there was no bill and there were no hearings.
But lo and behold, yesterday, with no hearings and (I understand) no actual written bill (though there is a number, SB 192), the Senate Tax Committee passed out a bill taking away the refundability of the EITC. Again, because working people have limited income tax liability, having the EITC be a deduction is basically the same as not having it at all.
We call on Senators to reject this measure. The adjectives arise as if by themselves: small-hearted, misguided, immoral. Right now I'm being asked to publicize this via social media rather than do a full-on advocacy alert, but if you've read this far please consider writing or tweeting your senator to ask them to reject SB 192.
Protect the EITC! Stop trying to fix a problem caused by tax cuts for the wealthy with tax hikes on poor and working people!