taxes

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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.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File Photo

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 / KPR/File photo

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.

Jimmy Everson, DVM, flickr Creative Commons

The state of Kansas reduced its revenue projections for this fiscal year and the next by $228.6 million, further increasing the state's budget deficit. As a result, Gov. Sam Brownback proposed three plans for erasing the shortfall, one of which affects K-12 education.

The plan would cut spending to public schools, universities and most state agencies by nearly $140 million. Cuts ranging from 3 percent to 5 percent would reduce funding for school districts across the state by more than $57 million.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File Photo

Estimates for Kansas tax collections were ratcheted down sharply yesterday. The state’s projected revenues dropped by a quarter-billion dollars over the next year-and-a-half. That leaves Kansas with a budget deficit. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is proposing plans for erasing the shortfall.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

A handful of university economists and state officials are meeting behind closed doors in Topeka today. Their objective is to come up with an accurate estimate of how much tax revenue Kansas will collect over the next year.

It’s a process the state has used since the late 70s for budgeting purposes--but it’s suddenly become controversial.

The last time the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group met, the news wasn’t good.

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