tax cuts

Stephen Koranda

The vice-chairman of the Kansas Senate’s budget writing committee says it’s time to fix the state’s ongoing budget problems once and for all.

Speaking on the KCUR podcast Statehouse Blend, Senator Jim Denning said the income tax cuts championed by Governor Sam Brownback aren’t producing the promised economic benefits.

And the Overland Park Republican said many lawmakers are getting tired of addressing budget shortfalls caused by dropping state revenues.

Stephen Koranda

A Kansas House committee has voted to undo part of the tax cuts that Governor Sam Brownback pushed.

The committee voted to reinstate some business income taxes, which were completely eliminated by the 2012 tax cut.

The bill would raise nearly $134 million during the next fiscal year.

The state would impose a 2.7 percent tax on most of the business owners' and farmers' profits, but income from rents and royalties would be taxed at 4.6 percent - mirroring the two income tax rates on wages.

Stephen Koranda

A Kansas House committee is preparing to debate proposals for raising taxes to erase the budget shortfall.

The Taxation Committee plans to discuss various revenue-raising proposals today. Legislative researchers say lawmakers must eliminate a $422 million deficit in the state budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Budget problems arose after the Legislature aggressively cut personal income taxes at Gov. Sam Brownback's urging in 2012 and 2013 in an effort to stimulate the economy.

Stephen Koranda

A Kansas House Committee is looking at rolling back a key part of the 2012 tax cut. It's specifically aimed at the tax break that allows more than 300,000 business owners to pay zero income tax on their business income. The goal of the tax break is boosting the economy. Republican Representative Mark Hutton says the tax cut for businesses isn't paying off.

“The individual tax savings are not significant enough to spur employment growth or lure companies to our state, yet it’s costing our state over $200 million,” says Hutton.

Republican lawmakers in Kansas seem more ready to reconsider a business tax break that's been a cherished economic policy for Governor Sam Brownback.

Governor Brownback is clear that he wants to preserve an exemption from personal income taxes for 281,000 business owners and 53,000 farmers.

He calls the policy, enacted in 2012 as part of a larger package of income tax cuts, the "small business accelerator."

But Republican allies who championed the same tax break three years ago say the Legislature will consider narrowing its scope as a budget-balancing move.

Governor Sam Brownback is staying tight-lipped about his plans to fix a hole in the state budget. But as Stephen Koranda reports, Brownback says he's looking at all the options.

Following a meeting at the Statehouse, Brownback gave few details to the media about what he'll propose. He says all options are on the table, including tax increases or slowing future scheduled decreases.

Brownback also won't say whether he'll make budget cuts, known as allotments before lawmakers return to the Statehouse in January.

Projected budget shortfalls in Kansas have some Republican legislators weighing proposals to backtrack on tax-cutting policies championed by Governor Sam Brownback.

However, House Appropriations Committee chairman and Wichita Republican Gene Suellentrop said on Tuesday that such measures should be a last resort.

Governor Brownback and the legislature must close shortfalls in the current and next state budgets totaling more than $714 million dollars, after lawmakers open their annual session in January.

A second leading bond-rating agency has downgraded its credit rating for Kansas, citing what it calls the state's "structurally unbalanced budget" following massive personal income tax cuts.

Standard & Poor's (S & P) said today that it is dropping its rating for Kansas to AA from AA+. The agency also dropped its rating for bonds backed by state tax dollars.

Moody's Investor Services downgraded its credit rating for Kansas in May.

Senate Committee Delays Work On Tax Plan

Feb 5, 2013

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.

Some Lawmakers May Pursue Cuts During Budget Talks

Jan 21, 2013

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.