Gridlock In Statehouse, Session Could Run Into June

May 30, 2013

Kansas House Speaker Ray Merrick says no new tax proposals have emerged from his survey of dozens of Republicans.

Merrick met Republicans in small groups Wednesday after the House rejected a proposal to the lower the state sales tax from 6.3 percent to 6 percent in July. It's currently scheduled by law to drop to 5.7 percent on July 1.

Merrick says House GOP leaders don't yet have a new plan. Lawmakers involved in the meetings said House Republicans expressed a variety of positions.

Most Republicans want to cut personal income taxes again, after similar cuts last year. Gov. Sam Brownback wants to keep the sales tax at 6.3 percent to offset these income tax cuts.

Democrats in the Kansas Legislature are criticizing the "gridlock" among Republicans on tax issues.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka and House Minority Leader Paul Davis of Lawrence said Wednesday there could be administrative complications if the 2013 session drags into June.

Hensley and Davis note that the state is required by law to give retailers a month's notice of a sales tax change before collecting the new levy.