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Kansas Senate Committee Advances Bill Repealing Business Tax Exemption

Stephen Koranda
Kansas News Service

A Kansas Senate committee has advanced a bill that would repeal an income tax exemption for more than 300,000 business owners. That sends the proposal to the full Senate for consideration. The plan would also increase income tax rates overall.

Republican Sen. Julia Lynn supported the measure because she said the Legislature needs to make some progress on tax issues.

“This is a situation that has been floundering for four years. Although it might not be the best bill that’s put forward, it’s the beginning of a process,” Lynn said.

The plan would raise almost $300 million in taxes next fiscal year, but it appears that wouldn’t be enough to entirely eliminate a budget deficit.

Democratic Sen. Marci Francisco opposed the bill, saying they don’t know if it raises enough revenue because they haven’t finalized a budget yet.

“I’d rather say, what do we as a Legislature believe are the appropriate expenditures? How do we raise those funds to balance that budget?” Francisco said.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback has already voiced opposition to the plan, saying it would hurt “job creators” and families. He pushed for the tax cuts in 2012 and has strongly defended them.

There could be a Senate debate on tax and budget issues Thursday.

Stephen Koranda is Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio and the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KCUR, KMUW, Kansas Public Radio and High Plains Radio covering health, education and politics.