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Ciboski: The Fate of the Income Tax Bill


The Kansas House and Senate advanced tax bills this past week that endanger Governor Brownback’s signature tax plan.  

The House passed the measure last Thursday with a 76-48 vote. 

Senator Ty Masterson of Andover dubbed the House measure “a piece of garbage.”

The Senate passed the measure the next day 22-18--just one vote above the minimum required for passage.

The tax measure ends the non-wage business income exemptions for approximately 330 thousand business owners, retroactive to January of 2017. It also restores deductions for medical expenses. 

The current two-bracket income tax system would become a three-bracket system, which would increase income tax rates but not to rates as high as they were in 2012 when the Brownback tax cuts were implemented. 

Governor Brownback said that these increases would “pummel the pocketbook of middle class families.”

Those married and filing jointly with income of zero to 12,500 dollars would not pay income tax. Cuts in government spending are also to be debated.

The fate of the income tax bill is now in the hands of the Governor, who can veto it, sign it, or let it sit for ten days and have it become law without his signature. 

I predict that the Governor will veto the measure, and that the legislature will likely fail to override the Governor’s veto, which requires 84 House votes and 27 Senate votes to override.   

If that happens, revenue shortfalls will likely continue and mandatory cuts in spending will occur.

Dr. Ken Ciboski is an associate professor emeritus of political science at Wichita State University.