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Tax Negotiators Begin Meetings

A select group of lawmakers from the Kansas House and Senate started negotiations on tax legislation Wednesday.

The conference committee will work to find a compromise between bills that passed the two chambers.

The two bills have one large difference. The Senate version makes a temporary sales tax permanent to help offset the costs of income tax cuts. The House version allows the sales tax to expire as planned later this year, and introduces additional income tax reductions more slowly.

Senator Les Donovan, a Wichita Republican, said extending the sales tax is critical.

“That is the bottom line - you might say the lynchpin - of whether this works or not,” Donovan said.

But Representative Richard Carlson, a Republican from St. Marys, said some House members believe a plan that keeps the sales tax elevated won't pass the House.

Leaders in the Kansas Senate Wednesday said they want negotiations on tax and budget issues to be finished by next week.