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Kansas Senate Committee Advances Flat Tax Plan

Stephen Koranda
KPR/File photo

A Kansas Senate committee has advanced a bill that would throw out the current state income tax brackets of 2.7 and 4.6 percent, so all taxpayers would pay the same 4.6 percent rate. The so-called "flat tax" plan would adjust deductions and credits, and lower the sales tax on food to try to limit the impact on lower-income Kansans. Jim Denning, the Senate’s Republican majority leader, says it still might need some adjustment.

“I think it’s just a starting point. We’re going to find out if there’s an interest in a single-tier tax plan,” Denning says.

The bill would also eliminate an income tax exemption for thousands of business owners. Democratic Sen. Marci Francisco says she likes some things about the plan, but she says the numbers just don’t add up.

“The amount that they’re looking at in the bill, 4.6 percent, is not enough to raise the revenue that’s needed,” Francisco says.

Lawmakers face budget deficits totaling around $1 billion by the middle of 2019.