A Kansas Senate committee has delayed debate on Governor Sam Brownback's tax proposal. A mistake at the Statehouse printing office meant the scheduled debate was left off the official Senate calendar for Tuesday.
Senator Les Donovan, a Republican from Wichita, said he didn't want to work on the tax plan without letting the public know about it. Donovan added, though, that senators could use some more time to prepare for the debate.
Gov. Sam Brownback has proposed more income tax cuts in Kansas over the coming years. And to help pay for that, he wants to make permanent part of a temporary sales tax increase that is set to expire later this year.
He's also suggested eliminating some tax deductions, like the home mortgage deduction. Though, some lawmakers may try to alter that plan.
There is now a conservative majority in both the House and Senate, and some lawmakers may try to find additional cuts to state spending instead of using the sales tax and tax deductions to help pay for an income tax cut.
Monday marks the start of the 2013 legislative session. This could be one of the most significant sessions in years.
Conservative Republicans control the House, Senate, and Governor's office. In recent years. moderate Republicans and Democrats have been able to block some legislation pushed by conservatives. But that is unlikely to happen in this session.
The state Revenue Department says Kansas collected $2.6 million more in taxes than expected in November.
The agency said Friday that the state collected about $441 million in taxes this month, when a fiscal forecast predicted it would take in less than $439 million.
The difference is less than 1 percent, but Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan said the numbers contain solid signs that the state's economy is improving. The report was the first since officials issued a new fiscal forecast earlier this month.
Supporters and opponents of tax-cutting legislation continue to talk about the plan, even going on the road to do it.
Members of the governor’s administration toured the state last month, and some Democrats are making stops this week. The cut will reduce personal income tax rates and completely eliminate income taxes for around 200,000 businesses in Kansas.
Preparations are underway for tax changes next year. Kansas Department of Revenue staff is working this summer to write the new rules and regulations that will guide the agency as it implements a sweeping series of cuts to the state’s income tax system.
Secretary Nick Jordan says the agency is meeting with accountants and lawyers to discuss the new law and write the policies that will govern how taxes are collected for individuals and businesses.
Maybe you’re one of the many Kansans who don’t pay an awful lot of attention to the Legislature. We have busy lives, and the idea of wading through news stories about political intrigue in Topeka can make the eyes glaze over and the prospect of rearranging one’s sock drawer sound suddenly appealing.
But while many of us were preoccupied with the necessary duties of running our households, driving the kids around, and gulping down coffee on the way to work each morning, a tireless effort to upend your life has been winning the day in our state’s capitol.