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Kansas Lawmakers And Governor Divided On Business Tax Exemption

Stephen Koranda
KPR/File photo

Gov. Sam Brownback and lawmakers are divided on a business tax exemption. Lawmakers sent the governor a bill repealing the exemption and raising other taxes to balance the budget, but Brownback vetoed it. The issue of business taxes might continue to be a sticking point in the tax debate.

Many Kansas lawmakers want to repeal the exemption because they say it’s unfair or it’s not what they intended. It allows more than 300,000 business owners to avoid paying tax on their business income. Brownback argues the exemption is helping grow business in Kansas. So would Brownback concede that part of the tax cuts?

“No. I don’t think there’s been a fair presentation of it,” Brownback says.

Brownback says he would consider an income cap on the exemption.

“If you can cap it at $150,000, 90 percent of your business in the state would have a tax exempt situation because most are very small,” Brownback says.

If lawmakers and the governor can’t see eye-to-eye on the business tax issue, they could be setting up another veto and an attempt to override.

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.