In Kansas, income taxes drop, general- obligation debt doesn’t exist and government workers haven’t had a raise since 2009. Lawmakers approved a $129 million increase in school spending last month only after the state supreme court made them.
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has a prairie-wide smile, a friendly manner and an abiding hatred of his state’s income tax. He pushed an unprecedented cut for individuals and small businesses through the legislature last year and is now plotting, as he says, to “take it to zero.”
Blackstone Group LP ’s Timothy Coleman helped Ford Motor Co. avoid bankruptcy and a taxpayer bailout as the automaker eliminated $9.9 billion of debt and negotiated with unions to modify collective-bargaining agreements. Now he’s trying to turn around Kansas.
Florida Governor Rick Scott shows how governors in at least nine states are approaching re- election campaigns next year by touting surpluses and pitching tax cuts, sometimes relying on one-time revenue to fund the breaks.