UPDATE: the repeal effort failed on a 45-74 in the House on a 45-74 vote
The Kansas House is set to vote Friday on a bill that would repeal a controversial tax exemption. That tax policy has allowed more than 300,000 business owners to avoid paying state income taxes. Republican Representative Mark Hutton is among the lawmakers who want to amend the business tax cut.
“It’s time to have the conversation, time to have the vote. Let’s put it to bed. There are a lot of people who think we need to change this. Let’s give them that opportunity to vote to do that,” says Hutton.
Republican Representative Stephanie Clayton has reservations about the bill because it won’t close the budget gap in the short or long term.
“It doesn’t balance our budget and my constituents want that problem fixed. We need to look at that now,” says Clayton.
The bill is expected to have the support of some Democrats, but others want a more comprehensive overhaul of the tax cuts passed in recent years. The governor and some conservative legislators have also opposed a tax increase to balance the budget.
A bill that would repeal an income tax exemption for Kansas businesses is headed for a vote in the House of Representatives. The policy allows more than 300,000 business owners to pay no state income tax. Democratic Representative Tom Sawyer says the plan is not a total solution, but it’s a step in the right direction.
“I will support it because this is a problem. It’s really unfair when a secretary pays taxes and the business owner does not,” says Sawyer.
The bill wouldn’t take effect until next year, so it wouldn’t help eliminate the state's short-term budget deficit. Republican Representative Stephanie Clayton has reservations about the bill because it doesn’t do enough to solve the budget problems.
“I remain optimistic that we can come up with something good, I just don’t know if this is the plan,” says Clayton.
The legislation could face long odds. Some conservative Republicans oppose a tax increase to balance the budget, and other lawmakers are hoping to force a deeper overhaul of the tax cuts passed in recent years.