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Kansas House Tax Committee Advances New Tax Bill

Representative Mark Hutton speaking to reporters. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

A committee in the Kansas House has advanced a new tax plan aimed at filling a budget hole. The panel voted to send the bill to the full chamber for debate. It would raise the sales tax on non-food items and reinstate some business income taxes that were eliminated in 2012. Statehouse Reporter Stephen Koranda has more.

Republican state Representative Mark Hutton, himself a business owner, says it’s a philosophical question. Should Kansas business owners continue to pay zero income tax?

“When we’re asking everybody else in the state to step up and pay more in sales tax. I think it’s commensurate,” says Hutton.

The plan also increases the cigarette tax. Republican Representative Marc Rhoades voted against the bill because he doesn’t want to fix the budget by reversing course on business taxes.

“It’s all about coming back on what we did in 2012. This is not the way to fix it,” says Rhoades.

The chairman of the tax committee says they probably need to have a budget passed this week or the state will begin running into budget problems as the new fiscal year draws near.

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