KANSAS (KSNT) – The Republican candidate for governor wants Kansans to retire tax-free.

In a statement issued Wednesday Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said he would like to focus on a plan to eliminate state income tax on Kansans’ retirement benefits and savings.

“To every retiree considering leaving Kansas after a lifetime of working and living here, we want you to stay. To every retiree in another state looking to move, come to Kansas,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt cited data from moving companies that ranked Kansas among the states with the highest outbound migration. Schmidt said departing retirees are a major cause of that outmigration. Schmidt said he believes the reason people are leaving the state is the state’s high tax burden.

Schmidt said he would work closely with the legislature to avoid shifting the tax burden while still cutting taxes but did not give specific examples.

Kansas Capitol Bureau asked Schmidt in an interview Wednesday if there are also plans to lower or eliminate the income tax for all Kansans or younger populations as well.

“I’m certainly a believer that lower taxes are better than higher taxes… I believe that my entire career… I believe it now. It’s one of the reasons I’m a Republican, so I’m always interested in ways we can lower the tax burden,” Schmidt said. “It’s also important to recognize that the numbers have to work. It doesn’t work if you simply reduce the state’s income, and don’t deal with the expenditure side, so we have to start somewhere.”

“We can’t do everything at once. We think there’s great potential to get a lot of ‘bang for the buck,’ so to speak, by focusing on this retire tax-free plan, because retirees are people who are, by definition, highly mobile,” he explained. “That is to say they are at a point where their career has come to a close. Often, if they have a family or had children, their kids are no longer at home. There’s an opportunity to reassess where you want to be. And, right now, too many are voting with their feet and leaving the state.”