Reponse To "Tail Wagging Chamber Dog"

September 16, 2016

Topeka, KAN.  (September 14, 2016) - Ed Flentje's piece on the Kansas Chamber PAC contains enough misinformation that a fact-based response is needed. Flentje claims a handful of Kansas businesses who provide the majority of funds to the Kansas Chamber PAC have outsized influence and have views that do not mirror those of Kansas businesses in general. Both claims are false. Our PAC is supported by over 100 donors. We promote candidates who support free enterprise and the mission of the Kansas Chamber.

 

We have raised more funds each election cycle to support our efforts to elect pro-business candidates, thanks to the generosity of our donors and particularly those successful Kansas businesses Flentje singled out by name. Yet, the business community continues to be outspent by groups opposing pro-business candidates.

 

Our mission is to improve the economic climate for every business and citizen and safeguard our system of free, competitive enterprise. Our Legislative Agenda is developed by our members and adopted by a Board of nearly 50 business leaders from all over the state. That agenda has produced reforms in the areas of human resources, regulatory affairs, taxation, government efficiency, and legal reform that have saved businesses hundreds of millions of dollars. Our mission and agenda are public and can be viewed at www.kansaschamber.org.

 

Thanks to our efforts, Kansas has thousands of new business taxpayers since 2012, after a decade of only public sector job growth. There were over 20,000 first time small business tax filings in 2013 and 2014, adding more than $1.13B of new income, of which nearly $900M was taxable.

 

What Mr. Flentje doesn't say about business taxpayers exempted from income taxes on pass-through income in 2012 is that they are our neighbors, not faceless companies, nor does he mention that two years later the Legislature exempted 388,000 low-income taxpayers. While Kansas and the nation continue to struggle with a lagging economy, here with low oil prices, low commodity prices and a President who is unfriendly to the aviation sector, personal income tax receipts are actually up. Kansas lags in sales and corporate income taxes, neither of which were part of the 2012 plan.

 

We are a statewide business organization. We advocate for business, just as other organizations will advocate for their members. We believe government exists to serve the needs of Kansas citizens and taxpayers, whose hard work and productivity make it possible to have the schools and public services we currently enjoy. We do not believe that taxpayers exist to serve government's needs and we will continue to fight for the taxpayers and for economic growth. A growing economy is the tide that lifts all boats.

 

Quoting John F. Kennedy, "It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low, and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the tax rates."

 

Bill Pickert

Chairman of the Board

Kansas Chamber of Commerce

  

The Kansas Chamber, with headquarters in Topeka, is the leading statewide pro-business advocacy group moving Kansas towards becoming the best state in America to live and work. The Chamber represents small, medium and large employers all across Kansas. The mission of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce is to continually strive to improve the economic climate for the benefit of every business and citizen and to safeguard our system of free, competitive enterprise. 

 

  

 

For more information on the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, visit www.kansaschamber.org.