Abolishing a state income tax is easier said than done

On September 24, 1980, a few weeks before Ronald Reagan was elected president, Alaska Governor Jay Hammond signed into law a bill abolishing his state’s personal income tax. In the past 31 years, no other state has taken that step. But lawmakers in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma are talking seriously about it.

In Missouri, supporters of a constitutional amendment to eliminate the personal income tax began collecting signatures last month to place their initiative on the ballot next year. In Oklahoma, Republican Governor Mary Fallin and key legislators have endorsed the concept of ending the tax. In Kansas, Republican Governor Sam Brownback is expected within weeks to propose a plan to cut income tax rates, possibly with the eventual goal of getting rid of the tax entirely.

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