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Kansas House Approves Tax Increase, Sends Bill To The Senate

Stephen Koranda
The Kansas House during a meeting Thursday.

The Kansas House has approved a bill that would undo many of the tax cuts passed in 2012. The 76-48 vote sends the plan to the Senate. The measure raises income tax rates and reinstates income taxes on hundreds of thousands of business owners. The chairman of the House tax committee, Republican Steven Johnson, says they have to balance tax cuts and funding government services.

“It’s a return of some, not yet all, but some of the tax cuts that we had. I think we were directionally correct to lower tax rates in 2012. I do think we went farther than we could afford to go at that time,” Johnson says.

Johnson says the bill is a starting point and could be amended as the process goes forward. Republican Trevor Jacobs says reinstating income taxes on business owners is bad economic policy.

“How can the state ask for prosperity when it cuts the vital roots of growth? The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much,” Jacobs says.

Gov. Sam Brownback has said he opposes the plan and would not sign it into law. The Kansas Senate could debate the proposal this week.

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.