Supply Side Kansas and ALEC


Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw) Weekend Contributor

In these post Recession days, we have seen various stories of state and municipalities economies make positive strides toward recovery.  According to economist Paul Krugman, the state of Kansas is not one of those success stories.  If you don’t recall, the Republican Governor, Sam Brownback, signed legislation granting huge tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy.

Brownback crowed that these tax cuts would lead Kansas into the promised land of economic nirvana.  Unfortunately for regular, non-wealthy Kansans, the recovery has not materialized.  As Krugman states, the economy in Kansas tanked.

“Sam Brownback, the governor, proposed the legislation — in percentage terms, the largest tax cut in one year any state has ever enacted — in close consultation with the economist Arthur Laffer. And Mr. Brownback predicted that the cuts would jump-start an economic boom — “Look out, Texas,” he proclaimed.

But Kansas isn’t booming — in fact, its economy is lagging both neighboring states and America as a whole. Meanwhile, the state’s budget has plunged deep into deficit, provoking a Moody’s downgrade of its debt.” New York Times  Continue reading “Supply Side Kansas and ALEC”

The Arizona Solar Tax and Who Benefits From It


Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw) Weekend Contributor

When I think of places that would be ideally suited for taking advantage of solar power, Arizona is high on the list.  There are approximately 20,000 Arizona buildings utilizing solar collection technology to replace or supplement normal power sources. However, that number may soon decrease if a new “solar tax” is implemented.

“A new interpretation of state law in Arizona could force customers to pay property taxes on leased solar panels. In a state with an estimated 20,000 solar customers and 85 percent of new solar installations being leased systems, the implications of an extra charge are tremendous. The new tax could result in an additional $152 per year for a residential solar array and even more for larger installations, the Arizona Republic reported. What’s more, the tax would apply to both new and existing customers.” Think Progress

At first glance, I guess it should not surprise anyone that a new tax may be initiated.  However, when that tax is a tax on solar panels on commercial and residential buildings and includes solar panel arrays that are leased, it raised some eyes in Arizona.  Why would the State of Arizona decide on a tax on the collection of power of the sun?  The answer may surprise you. Continue reading “The Arizona Solar Tax and Who Benefits From It”