taxes

Stephen Koranda file photo

The Kansas House is set to debate a budget agreement later today, but the plan the House will consider needs around $400 million in tax increases to balance.

House members had been waiting for a tax agreement, but over the last week several tax plans have faltered. The top budget writer in the Kansas House, Ron Ryckman, says passing a spending plan will help them avoid state employee furloughs.

Stephen Koranda file photo

The Kansas Senate rejected another tax proposal last night, wrapping up day 102 of the legislative session without a tax plan in place. The proposal would have raised sales and cigarette taxes, but also eliminated income taxes for some low-income Kansans. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, it was patterned after a proposal introduce by Gov. Sam Brownback.

Kansas Legislature

Governor Sam Brownback’s administration says the governor will veto any tax bills that include a roll-back of business income tax cuts. Brownback’s secretary of revenue made that announcement over the weekend. But Republican Representative Mark Hutton, from Wichita, says he’ll keep pushing for a change in business income tax rules.

Stephen Koranda file photo

The Kansas secretary of revenue says Republican Governor Sam Brownback will veto any attempts to roll back business income tax cuts. Secretary Nick Jordan told a group of senators yesterday that Brownback was opposed to any broad changes to business tax rules.

More than 300,000 business owners pay zero state income tax because of the 2012 tax cut, and some lawmakers want to look at amending that to help close a budget gap.

Senate Republican Majority Leader Terry Bruce believes the governor has shut the door on that issue for now.

Stephen Koranda

TOPEKA, Kan. -- Aggressive messages from top aides to Republican Gov. Sam Brownback and the prospect of furloughs for state workers still couldn't push a new plan from GOP leaders for raising taxes to close a budget shortfall through the state Senate early Monday morning.

Kansas House members are preparing to debate proposals for raising sales, tobacco and business taxes to close a projected budget shortfall.

Republican leaders in the GOP-dominated chamber put three tax bills on Friday's agenda. Top Republicans hope the House passes at least one.

Lawmakers must close a $406 million budget shortfall for the fiscal year beginning July 1. The gap arose after they cut income taxes in 2012 and 2013 at Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's urging to stimulate the economy.

One key issue is increasing the state's 6.15 percent sales tax.

The Kansas House had been planning to debate a tax bill Thursday, but dissatisfied members of the chamber were able to stop the debate before it even started. The bill failed to get the two-thirds vote needed to be brought up for debate. It appears conservative Republicans and a small number of Democrats were able to block the discussion.

House Republican Majority Leader Jene Vickrey says the bill will be back on the agenda Friday.

 

Stephen Koranda

The Kansas Senate spent hours yesterday debating a tax plan and eventually there was agreement: Virtually everyone in the chamber agreed that they did not like the bill. The plan failed with 30 votes against it and only one in favor. KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports on the proposal, which would have raised a variety of taxes to fill a budget hole.

 

The Kansas Senate has spent today debating a bill that would raise taxes to close a projected budget shortfall.

The work started with Republican Sen. Dennis Pyle moving to kill the tax bill, saying increasing taxes is not the way to fix the state’s budget. He wants lawmakers to look for more budget cuts.

“By not raising taxes, you’re going to empower the private sector," Pyle says. "Or are you going to empower big government, are you going to empower more government consumption?”

Stephen Koranda

Kansas lawmakers return to Topeka Tuesday after a four-day weekend. As Stephen Koranda reports, they’ll have to wrap up tax and budget issues before they can end the session.

Lawmakers can’t leave until they balance the budget. They seem to be leaning towards a tax increase following tax cuts in recent years, but there’s still division among lawmakers over what kinds of taxes should be increased.

The Senate will take up their first tax proposal this week, after abruptly canceling a debate on a bill last week and then leaving town for the holiday.

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