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Latest Tax Proposal Fails In The Kansas House

Stephen Koranda
KPR/File photo

Legislators are going back to the drawing board on taxes after a proposal failed in the Kansas House this morning. More tax discussions are scheduled for later today. KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports on the latest setback in the record-long 2015 session, now in its 112th day.

Leaders in the Kansas House held the vote open for hours last night while efforts were made to build more support for the bill, and then a legislative rule made them take a break from midnight to 8 a.m. They came back and continued holding the vote open, but it became clear there just wasn’t enough support for the bill.

The plan that failed relied mostly on increasing the sales tax and eliminating tax deductions to help fill a $400 million budget hole. A similar plan has already passed the Senate.

Both chambers continue to have deep political divisions on tax issues.

Original AP story published June 11, 2015, at 10:35 a.m.

The Kansas House has rejected a bill increasing sales and cigarette taxes to erase a projected budget deficit and avert deep spending cuts. The vote was 94-21 Thursday against a measure that would raise more than $400 million during the fiscal year that begins July 1. The tax increases would have balanced a $15.4 billion budget already approved by the Republican-dominated Legislature.

The state's budget problems arose after legislators slashed income taxes in 2012 and 2013 at GOP Gov. Sam Brownback's urging.

The Kansas Constitution prohibits the state from running a deficit. Brownback's budget director warned lawmakers this week failing to pass a tax bill would lead to across-the-board spending cuts.

House GOP leaders held the roll open for four hours over two days but couldn't get the votes.

Stephen Koranda is the managing editor of the Kansas News Service, based at KCUR. He has nearly 20 years of experience in public media as a reporter and editor.
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