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Kansas House Panel Unwinds Business Tax Break but Debate Continues over Budget Problems

A Kansas House committee has approved a bill to end a business tax break championed by Governor Sam Brownback.  The Taxation Committee's 13-8 vote today (MON) sends the measure to the full House for debate.  The measure repeals a tax break for 333,000 business owners and farmers enacted in 2012.  The policy exempted their business income from taxes.  Lawmakers are still sorting through various proposals to offset a budget gap of more than $400 million dollars.  Both the House and Senate are considering plans to roll back such tax breaks, but House Republican Ken Corbet, of Topeka, thinks the state should keep the promise it made to business owners.

An alternative proposal gaining momentum among some Republicans is a hike in the state’s sales tax. They say it’s the fairest method to generate revenue.  But many Democrats, including House member John Alcala of Topeka, say that would place the burden on the state's most vulnerable residents.
The legislature will continue debating the issue this week and is now considering an extension of the session to find a way to fill the deep budget gap.


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