Friday, January 26, 2007

Taxes on Taxes

This week I am doing some work at the state capitols of Missouri and Kansas but stopped for dinner in Lawrence, Kansas (home of my alma mater's Big 12 Conference rivals -- the University of Kansas Jayhawks -- boo!!) to do some political networking with a college friend and his wife. We had dinner at an Italian-menu restaurant named , "Teller's" -- yes a converted bank -- in downtown/campus town Lawrence. Overall on my 5 point scale I would give them a "3.5" rating because indeed it was a very nice dining experience. The only items I would note for improvement would be reducing the salt content of my vegetables -- I still feel dehydrated hours later -- and to be more creative with the bread options. My "lightly breaded" grouper was excellent.

Prior to dinner I spent nearly two days working in Jefferson City, Missouri which coincided with Governor Matt Blunt's annual State of the State speech. His speech was dominated by talk of health care and education reforms but for me two items he mentioned regarding tax reform REALLY caught my attention:

1.) The Governor called for eliminating the application of Missouri's state income tax on Social Security benefits.


2.) The Governor called for exempting most businesses from the corporate franchise tax as long as they provided health insurance to their employees.

Congratulations to Governor Blunt on this tax reform leadership. Perhaps he could work with his father, US Congressman Roy Blunt, to drive substantial Social Security reform such as letting people keep this money to pay for health insurance instead -- simply give taxpayers a choice. Further, if the corporate franchise tax had never existed the business community would have had substantial funds that could have been spent on employee salaries or health care benefits instead of sending more tax dollars to Jefferson City.



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