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Kansas Lawmakers Hear From Supporters, Critics Of Business Tax Exemption

Stephen Koranda
KPR/File photo

Lawmakers in the Kansas House are considering whether they should repeal a law that exempts more than 300,000 business owners from state income taxes. One major question is if the policy is creating jobs? At a meeting on Thursday, they heard conflicting accounts.

Mike Bosworth is president of NorthWind Technical Services in Sabetha, an industrial design and automation company. He told the committee they’ve added jobs since the tax cut, and a tax hike might reverse that.

“Ultimately, it won’t touch my wife and I," Bosworth says. "It pushes down to our employees and our friends around us. The very people that I think most of you in this room are hoping to help are going to be actually hurt the most,” Bosworth says.

Former Republican Representative Mark Hutton, who owns a construction company, believes the business tax exemption should be repealed. He says businesses add jobs because of demand, not because of tax cuts. And he says Kansas has increased sales taxes and made other changes to protect the business tax exemption.

“When we raise taxes on one segment to benefit another, we are picking winners and losers. We’re telling the other taxpayers they don’t count as much,” Hutton says.

Lawmakers are considering tax increases to help fill a budget hole.