Arizona Gets a Tax Warning From Kansas: Don't Do What We Did

January 6, 2017

The “Kansas experiment” of eliminating the income tax is a failure that Arizona would be wise to avoid, participants at the launch of a new economic-policy think tank were told Thursday.

“The moral of our story is ‘Don’t do what Kansas did,' " said Duane Goossen, who ran the Kansas state budget office for 12 years. The result of eliminating the income tax on small business and chopping down the income-tax rate has been disastrous, he said.

“It’s a Dumpster fire, it’s a real crisis," said Goossen, who came to Arizona to help kick off the opening of the Arizona Center for Economic Progress.

Ducey goal: Zero income tax

His warning comes as Gov. Doug Ducey is putting the finishing touches on his State of the State speech amid speculation about how he will further his goal of eliminating Arizona's income tax.

Goossen, along with Annie McKay of Kansas Action for Children, said Kansas' experience shows tax cuts have not triggered the economic and job growth that Gov. Sam Brownback promised when he signed a wide-ranging tax-cut bill in 2012.

“We’ve actually been losing folks, because of reduced opportunities and reduced quality of life," McKay told the estimated 75 people who gathered to mark the opening of the Arizona Center for Economic Progress.

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