taxes

Changes in federal tax law could actually cost some Kansans more in state taxes.

Kansas lawmakers might turn down that revenue windfall and add an election year tax cut instead. A bill they’re backing would cost roughly the same amount as a court-triggered boost to school spending.

Scott Canon / Kansas News Service

A roiling debate over how to assess big box stores — their worth when occupied, or their value as vacant properties — could upend property tax systems across Kansas.

At the heart is the “dark story theory,” as critics call the strategy. It contends property valuations should look at what an empty store could fetch on the open market.

That would dramatically cut their property tax bills, forcing county and local governments either to get by on smaller budgets or shift a heavier burden to other property owners.

Republicans in the Kansas House have unveiled a school funding proposal to send an added half billion dollars to local districts in the next five years. A committee advanced the plan Wednesday night to the full House for consideration.

Kansas News Service/File photo

Kansas lawmakers return to the Statehouse on Wednesday still facing the largest challenge of this year’s session: balancing the budget and responding to a court order to spend more on schools.

In recent years, though, lawmakers plucked the low-hanging fruit when it comes to finding cash. That makes any revenue harvest ahead that much more difficult.

J. Schafer / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

A booming stock market last year meant big gains for endowments at Kansas colleges and universities.

But declines in the long-term performance of endowments and changes to the tax code make many financial officers nervous.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

Fellow Republicans on Wednesday characterized Gov. Sam Brownback’s spending plan — more than $6.6 billion a year — as a beeline return to deficits and an abdication of responsibility in a budding crisis.

Scott Canon / Kansas News Service

A Kansas Supreme Court ruling saying the state must spend more on schools could require lawmakers to find hundreds of millions of dollars. With some lawmakers saying a tax hike for education remains off the table, that financial hunt won’t be easy.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas policymakers are closely monitoring monthly revenue reports to determine whether the tax increases passed last June have stabilized the state’s budget. However, recent changes in federal tax law could complicate things.

Stephan Bisaha / KMUW

Kansas school districts and municipalities are rushing to save millions of dollars before the Republican tax plan makes that impossible.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

Kansas lawmakers studying economic development policies say the Legislature should consider changes to a major incentives program next year. A special committee is recommending further study of the STAR bonds program, and members of both parties want more oversight.

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