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Senate Passes Modified Version Of Brownback Tax Plan

The Kansas Senate has passed a bill that would cut income tax rates in Kansas and keep the sales tax at its current rate.

Most of a 1 percent state sales tax increase is set to expire later this year. It would also phase out income tax deductions as tax rates decline.

Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce, a Republican from Hutchinson, said the bill would promote economic growth.

"Kansas tax policy is headed in the right direction, and we will become very competitive regionally with these tax reductions, while growing Kansas jobs,” Bruce said.

Keeping the sales tax elevated will help stabilize the state budget as income tax rates are reduced.

Senator Tom Holland, a Democrat from Baldwin City, opposed the bill. He said the chamber should let the sales tax increase expire.

"The bill reneges on the promise that the Kansas Legislature made to sunset the temporary sales tax. This bill only makes worse Kansas’ regressive tax system while creating massive out-year fiscal deficits,” Holland said.

The 25-14 vote sends the measure to the House for consideration.