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Kansas House Advances Modest Tax Proposal

Photo by Stephen Koranda

The Kansas House has passed an extremely stripped-down tax bill to start the process of working on a larger tax compromise. The bill would raise around $30 million to help fill a $400 million budget hole. The plan is a House and Senate conference committee will craft a bill that can pass both chambers.
 
Democratic Representative John Carmichael says a tax plan should be built through debate on the floor of the chamber, not in a small committee meeting.
 
“Our constituents will never know where legislators really stand on these issues unless we debate these issues on the House floor in public,” say Carmichael.


House leaders say this is a better route because it will avoid hours of debating a tax bill when lawmakers are already working overtime to finish the session.

Senators agreed to the conference committee, but say they don't want committee members working on a larger compromise right now. The Senate will debate other tax plans Sunday.
 
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The Kansas House has passed a modest tax bill with the hopes of building a larger tax compromise. The bill raises just $30 million of the $400 million needed to close the state's budget gap. The plan is for a House and Senate conference committee to try to craft a bill that can pass both chambers.
 
The chair of the House Tax Committee, Republican Marvin Kleeb (“cleb”), says building a plan on the House floor would take hours of debate when lawmakers are already into overtime.
 
“It really isn’t the sort of discussion you should have out on the floor, putting all the pieces together, especially with this kind of money that needs to be done,” says Kleeb.


But critics of this method say the debate should be carried out in public, on the House floor, so Kansans can see how their lawmakers vote on various proposals. Opponents also say this method of building a bill puts the power to craft the tax compromise into the hands of a small group of lawmakers.

Senators agreed to the conference committee, but say they don't want committee members working on a larger compromise right now. The Senate will debate other tax plans Sunday.
 

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