Well, not exactly:
Legislators in some of the nation’s most conservative states are considering new ways to boost revenue -- including tax increases....So what are they doing in Kansas?
It is a reversal, in many ways, of recent trends toward deep tax cuts, led by states like Kansas, where Gov. Sam Brownback (R) and the Republican-dominated legislature slashed rates on individuals and businesses in hopes of spurring economic growth. Kansas now faces a $350 million budget hole this year, and a likely $600 million gap next year.
This year, a coalition of centrist Republicans and Democrats are plotting new tax hikes to plug those holes. The legislature is likely to roll back a tax cut on small businesses Brownback signed in 2012, while also raising gas taxes.Oh -- so they're not reversing the income tax cuts of recent years, which benefit the wealthy the most? Nahhh, you can't do that in a red state.
... At least eight other states, including Tennessee, Arizona and Missouri, are considering raising gas taxes...Can we talk about gas tax increases? There are some on the left who say they don't hit poor and working people hard, but much of the data on which that conclusion is based is more than a decade old. It's believed that wealthier people buy more SUVs and gas guzzlers. But it's likely that poor and working-class people buy fewer hybrids and other fuel-efficient vehicles, and keep old beaters on the road longer. A 2015 report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), a group whose board members include Robert Reich and Robert Kuttner, tells us this:
In Oklahoma, legislators must come up with enough revenue to close a $1.4 billion budget shortfall.... Gov. Mary Fallin (R) has reversed her earlier opposition to raising the gas tax. She has also floated the possibility of raising taxes on tobacco, and of broadening the sales tax base to include some services.
Overall, state excise taxes on items such as gasoline, cigarettes and beer take about 1.6 percent of the income of the poorest families, 0.8 percent of the income of middle-income families, and just 0.1 percent of the income of the very best-off. In other words, these excise taxes are 16 times harder on the poor than the rich, and 8 times harder on middle-income families than the rich.And those are the taxes these red states want to raise.
More from The Hill:
In Indiana, where Vice President-elect Mike Pence (R) made tax cuts a priority during his term as governor, his successor, Gov.-elect Eric Holcomb (R), has also proposed raising the gas tax and adding some new vehicle fees.Republicans have two approaches to taxes: Cut them all drastically (while slashing social services), and if there's an income tax, make it less progressive, i.e., less burdensome to the wealthy. Then, if that blows a hole in the budget, raise the taxes that hit the poor and middle class the hardest, and never, ever restore those income-tax cuts for the rich. Raise taxes on everyone else instead.
Nebraska legislators are debating a deeper shift in the state’s tax code. One faction in the ostensibly nonpartisan unicameral legislature wants to reduce income taxes while raising sales taxes. Another wants to shift emphasis from property taxes to sales taxes. Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) has said he would like to cut both property and income taxes, though the state faces a $900 million shortfall.
Republicans know this doesn't lead to fiscal health or general prosperity. They don't care. They keep doing it, because they serve only the wealthy, and have nothing but contempt for the poor and middle-class whites who keep voting for them.
And in a way you can't blame them for how they operate, because, well, those non-rich voters keep voting for them. And even after this next round of tax changes, I'm sure they still will.