Kansas Abortion Law Includes Pointless Tax Provisions
Even conservative Forbes magazine recognizes that what state GOP leaders are doing is wrong:
Abortion is one of those issues where each side tends to think that they totally possess the moral high ground. This can lead to a loss of perspective. There will be a tendency when you muster at least a local majority to throw everything, including the kitchen sink, at your opponents, regardless of collateral damage to other policy goals. Like sensible tax policies.
Kansas exempts prescription drugs from sales tax. Most, if not all states, have a similar exemption. Educational materials purchased for distribution to the public for free by a non-profit foster the improvement of public health are also exempt. Tangible personal property purchased by a 501(c)(3) organization that provides health services to the medically underserved is also exempt.
The new legislation repeals the exemption for drugs that are prescribed for abortion. It also repeals the not-for-profit sales tax exemptions for organizations where abortions are performed. That’s not enough. There are also income tax provisions. I have to confess that I am having trouble figuring one of them out. Kansas adjusted gross income is increased by:
For taxable years commencing after December 31, 2013, that portion of the amount of any expenditure deduction claimed in determining federal adjusted gross income for expenses paid for medical care of the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s spouse or dependents when such expenses were paid or incurred for an abortion, or for a health benefit plan, as defined in section 1, and amendments thereto, for the purchase of an optional rider for coverage of abortion in accordance with K.S.A. 2012 Supp. 40-2,190, and amendments thereto, to the extent that such taxes and assessments are claimed as an itemized deduction for federal income tax purposes.
Kansas follows federal adjusted gross income pretty closely and allows federal itemized deductions relatively unscathed. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the above provision, since medical expenditures are generally not allowed against federal adjusted gross income.