taxes

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

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 / KPR/File photo

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.

Governor Sam Brownback says he will not draw clear lines on what he'll accept from the Kansas Legislature, which is considering rolling back one of his major economic initiatives.

Lawmakers are working to close a projected budget deficit of $406 million dollars for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1st.

The House Taxation Committee was working on a plan to raise the state's sales tax to 6.5 percent from 6.15 percent.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File Photo

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback has met with top GOP leaders as the Kansas Legislature continues its discussions about raising taxes to erase a state budget shortfall.

Brownback had a private session Tuesday morning with Senate President Susan Wagle, House Speaker Ray Merrick and the majority leaders in both chambers.

Their gathering came before the Senate tax committee convened to discuss revenue-raising proposals.

Stephen Koranda

House lawmakers are going back to the drawing board on Monday after the chamber roundly rejected a tax proposal last week. The bill they rejected would have mostly relied on a sales tax increase to fill a budget hole of more than $400 million. Statehouse reporter Stephen Koranda explains...

Stephen Koranda

A Kansas House committee is preparing to debate proposals for raising taxes to erase the budget shortfall.

The Taxation Committee plans to discuss various revenue-raising proposals today. Legislative researchers say lawmakers must eliminate a $422 million deficit in the state budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Budget problems arose after the Legislature aggressively cut personal income taxes at Gov. Sam Brownback's urging in 2012 and 2013 in an effort to stimulate the economy.

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