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UPDATE: Kansas House, Senate Move Closer on Sales Tax Rate


TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Negotiators from the Kansas House and Senate are moving closer to a deal on cancelling all or part of a scheduled drop in the state sales tax. Three negotiators resumed their talks on tax issues Tuesday and plan to continue Wednesday. The sales tax is the key issue. It's scheduled by law to decline in July from the current 6.3 percent to 5.7 percent. But the Senate has approved Republican Governor Sam Brownback's plan to keep the tax unchanged. The House favored allowing the tax to decline as planned, but the chamber's Republican leaders later proposed resetting it at 6 percent. Senate negotiators Tuesday proposed a sales tax of 6.25 percent. Many GOP legislators want to cut personal income taxes, but lawmakers must stabilize the budget.


An earlier version of this story follows:

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Negotiators from the Kansas House and Senate are reporting progress on approving a new state budget, with plans to send the latest House proposal to the chamber floor for a vote. Details of the $14.5 billion proposal for the fiscal year that starts in July weren't immediately released Tuesday. But the possible House vote on Wednesday would be the first by either chamber since legislators returned May 8 from a monthlong break. Senate and House negotiators were to meet late Tuesday afternoon to make the procedural moves. A separate group of negotiators also planned to meet Tuesday to seek compromise on tax legislation. The House and Senate have been at odds on canceling a scheduled decline in the state sales tax from 6.3 percent to 5.7 percent.


a prior version of this story follows: 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas legislators were preparing to resume their negotiations on budget and tax issues as freshman Republicans in both chambers gathered for a joint meeting on Tuesday. First-term GOP lawmakers were caucusing Tuesday ahead of meetings of separate teams of senators and House members appointed to reconcile their chambers' differences on budget and tax issues. Republican leaders in both chambers have been at a stalemate. The biggest budget disagreement is over higher education spending. Both chambers want to cut, but the House wants to go deeper than the Senate. Republican Gov. Sam Brownback wants no cuts. On taxes, the biggest conflict is over Brownback's plan to stabilize the budget by canceling a scheduled decrease in the sales tax. The Senate has approved the measure, and the House wants the tax to decrease.

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