The State of Kansas is in a very strong financial position right now. We have had 26 straight months of revenues exceeding estimates and the State has over $2.5 Billion dollars in its rainy day fund and ending balances. Tom feels the state needs to use excess money to help Kansans deal with the high inflation we are all facing.
1. ELIMINATE THE SALES TAX ON FOOD AND OTHER NECESSITIES IMMEDIATELY
Last session the Governor signed into law a compromise that phases out the Sales Tax on food over 3 years. Reducing the Sales Tax to 0 immediately would save every Kansan 6.5% on their groceries every time they shop. Tom Sawyer also supports eliminating the sales tax on other necessities such as over the counter drugs and hygiene products.
Cost to the General Fund $300 million dollars
We can reduce gas prices by 24 cents a gallon by transferring $400 million from the General Fund excess funds into the State Highway fund. This will allow us to completely eliminate the gas tax for about a year.
3. REDUCE YOUR MONTHLY MORTGAGE PAYMENT & ANNUAL CAR TAXES BY FUNDING THE STATE PROPERTY TAX RELIEF FUND (LAVTRF).
The State has a fund- the Local Ad Valorem Tax Reduction Fund (LAVTRF) that takes state general fund money and transfers it to our County Treasurers requiring them to use the money to lower every property tax levy (except for schools). Although this fund has been law since 1937, the State quit putting money into it during bad economic times and has failed to fund it ever since.
Tom feels we should start using this fund again to cut everyone's property taxes. Lowering the mill levies will lower both the property taxes on our homes and our cars. That will cut our monthly mortgage payments and the annual cost to get our car tags. Cost to General Fund $108 million
5. INDEX THE STANDARD DEDUCTION AND PERSONAL EXEMPTIONS TO THE INFLATION RATE
Increasing the Standard Deduction and Personal Exemption will increase everyone's take home pay.
Indexing them to the inflation rate will put more money in your pockets. As prices rise so will your take home pay, making it easier to deal with the higher costs.
Child care costs are skyrocketing. Tom Sawyer has a 3 point plan to cut child care costs:
1. Provide tax credits to Businesses that provide child care for their employees children.
2. Provide tax credits to parents to help them pay for child care.
3. Remove unnecessary regulations on child care facilities to help them reduce their costs.
He would not remove regulations dealing with kids care and safety, but there are several regulations that add to cost and have nothing to do with care. Regulations such as the height of shelves need to go. Cost to the General Fund $50 million.