Cut Our Property Taxes- U
In 1992, Tom Sawyer led the effort that cut our property taxes in Wichita by
Cut Our Car Taxes- I
In 1994, Tom Sawyer had a plan to cut our car taxes in half over 5 years. Thanks
to his and others leadership, we now pay 50% less in car taxes than we used to pay!
Provided Property Tax Relief for Homeowners-
Tom Sawyer led the effort in 1996 that gave us the Homestead exemption, which cut every homeowners property taxes. He also helped pass a plan that reduced the state-wide property tax mill levy from 35 mills to 20 mills!
Lowered Income Taxes for Struggling Working Families-
In 1998, Tom Sawyer led the effort to increase the personal exemption for all Kansans and to implement an Earned Income Tax Credit in Kansas. The Kansas Earned Income Tax Credit cut the income taxes for all families making less than $35,000 a year. In 2007 he helped pass a law that increased this tax cut by 13%!
Unfortunately the current legislature took away some of this tax relief for working families to help fund the reckless 2012 tax plan that exempts over 330,000 business owners from paying Kansas Income Tax.
Provided Tax Relief for Struggling Seniors-
In 1998, Tom Sawyer also led the effort to double the sales tax refund and greatly increase the Homestead Tax Refunds provided to people over 55, the disabled, the blind and families struggling to make ends meet. In 2007, He helped pass another bill that increased the Homestead Refunds again! Again unfortunately in 2012 the Kansas Legislature took back some of these gains to help pay for their reckless 2012 tax plan.
Got rid of Unfair Taxes-
In 2004 the Legislature passed a new tax on people who sold their old cars, Some people even had to pay more in tax than they paid for the car. The value that the tax was based on had nothing to do with the sales price of the car, it was based on a table set by the state. In 2005 Tom Sawyer successfully fought to repeal this unfair tax, getting refunds for thousands of Kansans.
Tom Sawyer on the house floor leading the debate against the huge 2015 tax increase. Unfortunately he lost that battle as the pro Brownback forces were able to get the minimum number of votes needed to give Kansas the second highest tax on food in the nation. Tom Sawyer is dedicated to reducing and eventually eliminating the Kansas sales tax on food. Kansas is one of just 14 states that still tax food at all.
Protected the Homestead Exemption-
In 2006, Tom Sawyer helped defeat an effort to kill the Homestead Exemption. Killing the Homestead Exemption would have raised our property taxes. Tom Sawyer led the effort in 1996 which gave us the Homestead Exemption. He wasn't about to let it die.
Ended the State Taxation of Social Security Benefits for most Kansans-
In 2007, Tom Sawyer helped pass a bill that eliminates Kansas income tax on Social Security Benefits for all seniors with an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less!
Over $1 billion in tax cuts supported by Tom Sawyer and enacted into law just from 2005-2008
Including 3 of the tax cuts listed above (Repeal of the sales tax on clunkers, ending the state income tax on Social Security benefits and increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit) Tom Sawyer has supported over $1 billion in tax cuts that have been enacted into law just from 2005 to 2008 alone.
Many of these tax cuts were wisely phased in over several years, but once they were all fully implemented, the accumulated total of just these tax cuts total over $1 billion.
In 2016 Put a Lid on Property Taxes-
This year Tom Sawyer was part of a bi-partisan group of legislators that developed a Property Tax Lid bill to keep our property taxes from going higher. Their bill passed with huge bipartisan majorities in both the House and Senate. He believes that local governments should not be allowed to increase property taxes beyond reasonable and natural growth without being subject to a vote of the people. That is what the newly passed property tax lid does.
Unfortunately The current legislature also continues to pass bills that are shifting more of the tax burden onto to local property taxes. They are doing this because the reckless 2012 tax plan has left the state short of revenue. Tom Sawyer believes that this is wrong and will make it difficult for senior citizens to stay in their homes and for working families to be able to afford their homes. He will work to end this reckless tax plan to return financial stability to our state and end this horrible shift onto local property taxes.
Provided Taxpayers Due Process Rights in Tax Disputes-
In 2014 Tom Sawyer was part of a group of bipartisan legislators that passed a comprehensive Taxpayer Rights Bill to help taxpayers dispute unfair tax assessments. In 2016 the bipartisan group of lawmakers worked on and passed SB 280 which clarified and updated these reforms. In all, this comprehensive tax bill contained 16 reforms covering all taxpayers. The provisions cover contested property tax, sales tax and income tax disputes.
Unfortunately Governor Brownback vetoed this important pro-taxpayer bill. Fortunately Tom Sawyer and his fellow tax conference committee members were able to convince the full legislature to easily override the governor's veto. SB 280 is now law.
Fighting to End the Sales Tax on Food-
Tom Sawyer has long called for the elimination of the sales tax on food. After we repeal the reckless 2012 tax plan and the economy improves and the budget can absorb it he will once again push to eliminate this unfair tax.
|Estimated Fiscal Notes for Selected Tax Cuts Supported by Tom Sawyer and Enacted from 2005 to 2008.|
|($ in millions)|
|Session||Bill #||Brief Description||FY 2005||FY 2006||FY 2007||FY 2008||FY 2009||FY 2010||FY 2011||FY 2012||FY 2013||thru FY 13|
|2005||SB 256||Inc Tax Exemption-Military Recruitment Bonuses||$0.000||-$0.587||-$0.622||-$0.660||-$0.699||-$0.741||-$0.786||-$0.833||-$0.883||-$5.810|
|2005||SB 133||Homestead Program - Indexation||$0.000||$0.000||-$0.025||-$0.050||-$0.075||-$0.100||-$0.125||-$0.150||-$0.175||-$0.700|
|2005||SB 23||Repeal of "Clunker" Sales Tax on Used Vehicles||-$5.000||-$5.175||-$5.356||-$5.544||-$5.738||-$5.939||-$6.147||-$6.362||-$6.584||-$51.845|
|2005||SB 138||Certain Tax Credits||-$0.500||-$0.500||-$0.500||-$0.500||-$0.500||-$0.500||-$0.500||-$0.500||-$0.500||-$4.500|
|2005||HB 2040||Sales Tax Ex - Hearing Aid Repair||$0.000||-$0.093||-$0.096||-$0.100||-$0.103||-$0.107||-$0.110||-$0.114||-$0.118||-$0.842|
|2005||HB 2222||Indiv Devolpment Account Program||-$0.503||-$0.503||-$0.503||-$0.503||-$0.503||-$0.503||-$0.503||-$0.503||-$0.503||-$4.527|
|2006||SB 404||Numerous Sales Tax Exemptions||$0.000||$0.000||-$12.702||-$15.448||-$17.291||-$8.173||-$8.630||-$10.087||-$11.546||-$83.877|
|2006||HB 2583||Machinery and Equipment tax phase out||$0.000||$0.000||-$3.500||-$27.162||-$42.737||-$58.905||-$63.698||-$62.729||-$68.869||-$327.600|
|2007||HB 2031||Social Security Exemption & EITC Expansion||$0.000||$0.000||$0.000||-$12.900||-$19.400||-$21.300||-$23.400||-$25.800||-$26.135||-$128.935|
|2007||HB 2171||Sales Tax Exemptions - Various||$0.000||$0.000||$0.000||-$0.650||-$0.673||-$0.696||-$0.721||-$0.746||-$0.772||-$4.258|
|2007||HB 2240||Sales Tax Ex - Repair of Transmission Lines||$0.000||$0.000||$0.000||-$3.000||-$3.387||-$3.506||-$3.629||-$3.756||-$3.887||-$21.165|
|2007||HB 2476||Homestead Program Expansion||$0.000||$0.000||$0.000||-$10.500||-$11.000||-$11.600||-$12.200||-$12.800||-$13.500||-$71.600|
|2007||HB 2264||Franchise Tax Phase Out||$0.000||$0.000||$0.000||-$7.000||-$16.500||-$26.500||-$37.000||-$48.000||-$50.000||-$185.000|
|2007||HB 2004||Various Tax Credits||$0.000||$0.000||$0.000||-$4.100||-$4.100||-$4.100||-$4.100||-$4.100||-$4.100||-$24.600|
|2007||HB 2540||Business Disaster Sales Tax Relief||$0.000||$0.000||-$0.400||-$1.600||$0.000||$0.000||$0.000||$0.000||$0.000||-$2.000|
|2008||HB 2434||Various Income, Sales and Property Tax Provisions||-$114.992|
|Total These Bills||-$6.003||-$6.858||-$23.704||-$89.716||-$122.706||-$142.670||-$161.549||-$176.479||-$187.573||-$1,032.251|
Unfortunately the 2012 legislature's irresponsibility is leading to a huge budget deficit, which puts all of these tax cuts in jeopardy. Tom Sawyer wants to return to Topeka to help solve this financial crisis before it gets worse. He wants to work with Republicans and Democrats to save not only the tax cuts for working families and seniors but funding for our children's education and other vital programs as well.