Leaders in the Kansas Senate say they'll likely pursue cuts to the budget recommended by Gov. Sam Brownback. Senate President Susan Wagle, a Wichita Republican, says their goal is a long-term elimination of the state's income tax.
A Senate committee recently endorsed a plan that would cut income tax rates. To help balance the budget, it would also eliminate the state's tax deduction for mortgage interest and keep the sales tax elevated.
Wagle says to make the budget work, they will need to make more cuts.
The Kansas Senate could vote on Gov. Sam Brownback's tax proposal this week, but it is unclear if the provision that cuts income tax rates can pass the House.
To balance the budget, the bill would eliminate some income tax deductions and keep the sales tax elevated. But Speaker Ray Merrick, a Stilwell Republican, says House members are cool to keeping the sales tax.
“Of course we’re a long way from the finish, and the finish changes a lot of thinking, but right now I don’t see a lot of appetite out here to retain the sales tax,” he says.
The Kansas Senate Assessment and Taxation committee endorsed most of Gov. Sam Brownback's tax plan Tuesday. The committee spent fewer than 10 minutes discussing the governor's proposals before approving the bill. The legislation could move to the full senate for debate next week.
Gov. Brownback wants to phase out personal income taxes in Kansas over the next four years. The committee kept the governor's call to balance the tax cuts by making a temporary sales tax hike permanent. However, they cut his proposal to eliminate an income tax deduction for property taxes on homes.