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Kansas Lawmakers Deliberate Tax Hikes

Kansas Statehouse (Photo by J. Schafer)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Legislative committees are planning more discussions about proposals for raising taxes to erase a state budget shortfall.  The House Taxation Committee is holding a hearing today (TUE) on a bill that would narrow a tax break for business owners and farmers enacted in 2012.  The measure would backtrack on a policy advocated by Republican Governor Sam Brownback as an economic stimulus. It exempted the profits of more than 330,000 business owners and farmers from income taxes.  Lawmakers cut income taxes in 2012 and 2013, and the state faces a budget shortfall projected at $406 million for the fiscal year beginning July 1.  The Senate tax committee also was meeting Tuesday to discuss revenue-raising proposals.  Today is the 93rd day of the Legislature's annual session, three more days than leaders traditionally schedule.


New Proposal to Narrow Kansas Business Tax Break Emerges

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A new proposal for narrowing a tax break for business owners and farmers has emerged in the Kansas House.  The House Taxation Committee introduced the measure Monday and scheduled a hearing on it today (TUE).  Chairman and Republican Representative Marvin Kleeb (Cleb) of Overland Park said the proposal could raise between $45 million and $55 million during the fiscal year beginning July 1.  Legislators must close a budget shortfall projected at $406 million for the next fiscal year. The gap arose after lawmakers cut personal income taxes in 2012 and 2013 at Governor Sam Brownback's urging to stimulate the economy.  One policy exempted the profits of 281,000 business owners and 53,000 farmers from income taxes.  The bill introduced Monday would exempt only the first $150,000 of their profits for this year.


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