Kansas is a very conservative state, with all branches of government controlled by the Republican Party.
Yet the state government has a policy on state income tax refunds that directly benefits both a particularly unattractive group of illegal aliens and indirectly benefits the employers of this class of workers. That class consists of illegal aliens who obtained Social Security numbers illegally.
How can that be? Is somebody (or lots of somebodies) asleep at the proverbial switch? Apparently.
I was reminded of this as income tax filing season gets under way.
The tax regulations in Kansas say that if a worker uses a Social Security number that "does not belong to the taxpayer", he or she routinely is denied the refund of any moneys withheld by the employer. This general rule is excellent and is probably not observed by most states.
But in Kansas there's an exception.
If the worker can get a note from his employer saying that the SSN on the W-2 matches the one on the worker's income tax filing, then the illegally obtained SSN is accepted by the state and the worker gets the refund — which otherwise would go to the state's seriously depleted treasury.
Who else gains by this? That worker's employer, who, at this point, has a useful bit of information to hold over his employee — that the worker obtained a SSN in an unlawful way. Further, if the worker gets a state tax refund, that increases his actual income and he is less likely to seek a raise.
So if the worker and the employer collude on this matter they are both better off. And presumably the incidence of illegal employment expands. Interesting policy.
We wrote about this element of the state tax law about 10 months ago, and checked again this month to find that the regulation that creates this system, "Notice 16-2", is still in place. A publicist for the state tax department confirmed that it is.
Do the people in charge of Kansas's taxes want to increase the state's income, without costing a penny to any legal resident? At absolutely no cost to any voter?
All they have to do is to rescind Notice 16-2.