taxes

Kansas is reporting that its tax collections last month were $2.6 million more than expected, giving state officials a small dose of good news in dealing with ongoing budget problems.

The Department of Revenue reported Monday that the state collected $584.3 million in taxes in April, when the official projection was $581.7 million. The surplus was 0.5 percent.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Kansas lawmakers are slated to vote on a bill Sunday that would delay a payment into the state pension plan and cut government spending to balance the budget.

Stephen Koranda

The Kansas House is set to vote today on a bill that would repeal a controversial tax exemption. That tax policy has allowed more than 300,000 business owners to avoid paying state income taxes.

Republican Rep. Mark Hutton is among the lawmakers who want to amend the business tax cut.

“It’s time to have the conversation, time to have the vote. Let’s put it to bed. There are a lot of people who think we need to change this. Let’s give them that opportunity to vote to do that,” Hutton says.

wichita.edu

Wichita State University held an entrepreneurship conference on Thursday at the Hyatt Regency downtown. The event featured several speakers who outlined the data behind startup businesses both large and small.

Abigail Wilson / KMUW

The Midwest Regional Public Finance Conference was held in Wichita today. Experts on the role of the government in the economy discussed the latest research, regulations and trends.

Kelly Edmiston, a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, says the economy in the Kansas region is growing more slowly than the rest of U.S. He says the setbacks are the result of a decline in the energy and agricultural sectors.

Senator Jeff King speaking to the Senate Tax Committee.
Stephen Koranda

State lawmakers are considering how to erase a budget shortfall, and on Thursday a Kansas Senate committee took a look at business taxes.

Lawmakers held a hearing on a bill that would partially roll back a tax exemption for business income. Jim Eschrich is a business owner who says the tax changes overall have been good, but he says it’s unfair for some business owners not to pay income taxes.

Stephen Koranda

Kansas lawmakers are back in the Statehouse for the veto session, where they’re considering how to deal with a budget deficit. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, how they try to tackle the issue could determine how long they’re in Topeka.

Republican Rep. Barbara Bollier suspects it could be a brief veto session.

“I expect short and I expect very little to happen,” Bollier says.

Stephen Koranda

Advocacy groups gathered at the Kansas Statehouse today and asked lawmakers to reverse tax cuts passed in recent years.

The organizations include unions, the Kansas Contractors Association and a group that advocates for children. Annie McKay, with the Kansas Center for Economic Growth, is a frequent critic of the governor’s tax policies. She says the state can’t cut its way out of the budget shortfall.

Jim McLean / KHI News

The budget is the immediate problem facing Kansas lawmakers today as they start their wrap-up session--specifically, how to erase $290 million in red ink and balance the budget.

One of the budget-balancing proposals they’re expected to consider would close a controversial tax exemption for businesses. But as Jim McLean reports, supporters of the measure are having trouble lining up the votes they need.

401(K) 2012 / Flickr Creative Commons

The City of Wichita waives millions of dollars in tax revenue each year in the name of economic development. It’s called tax abatement, and it allows private companies to forgo certain tax burdens for a set amount of years. The plan is to help businesses expand, improve and hire more staff. Tax abatements are a common practice in cities across the country. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur explores how these incentives work, and whether they’re effective.

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