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Kansas Budget Deficit May Push Effort To Repeal Business Tax Cut

Stephen Koranda
Kansas Public Radio/File photo

Kansas lawmakers will return to the Statehouse this week and they'll be looking for ways to erase a budget deficit. Part of that discussion could focus on business taxes. As KPR's Stephen Koranda reports, some legislators say it's time to reconsider a tax policy that lets thousands of business owners pay no state income tax.

Republican Sen. Jim Denning is one of the Kansas lawmakers saying the business tax exemption needs to be rolled back or modified. Denning says he’s tired of budget solutions he sees as one-time fixes.

“I think we’ve done it so many times. I think it’s about time to do something structurally. Get the adults in the room and fix this thing,” Denning says.

State Budget Director Shawn Sullivan says rising costs for services like education and Medicaid have been helping drive the budget deficits in recent years. Is reinstating business income taxes the answer here?

“I would say no, I think the governor would say no. It’s not that the $150, $200 million we’d be getting is the sole reason that we have a structural shortfall,” Sullivan says.

Lawmakers will be looking for $300 million in cuts or new revenue to balance the budget in the next year-and-a-half.