State lawmakers may make another try at returning the so-called federal tax reform “windfall” to taxpayers, despite a recent veto by Gov. Laura Kelly.
Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, an Overland Park Republican, told members of the Johnson County Republican Party’s Elephant Club that lawmakers might not have enough votes to override her veto of Senate Bill 22. However, legislators could put similar language into a conference committee bill to “take another bite of the apple,” Denning said.
It would mark a third attempt to allow Kansans to itemize deductions on their state forms if they didn’t on their federal forms and to adjust state tax law to limit taxation on repatriated foreign income.
A narrow Senate majority, 21-19, passed similar legislation in 2018, but a tie vote sank the measure in the House that year. This year, both legislative bodies garnered enough votes to send SB 22 to the Governor’s desk. The House passed the measure, 76-43, 12 votes shy of the number necessary to override Kelly. The Senate adopted the bill 24-16, three votes shy of a veto-proof majority.
Legislators are set to return to Topeka on May 1 for veto session.
“We don’t think we have enough votes right now to override Gov. Kelly’s veto,” Denning said.
However, if some pieces of SB 22 are put into a conference committee bill, three House members and three Senate members would hash out their differences before each legislative body held an up-or-down vote. Denning said with a few changes, the legislation may have a better chance of passing.
For example, the original bill also included provision to lower the sales tax on food. The amount of the food sales tax decrease could change. Some provisions of SB 22 were retroactive to the beginning of the year.
“It might not be retroactive,” Denning said. “So I think it has a much better chance at passing.”
Politically, the Senate Majority Leader said there are two schools of thought on whether lawmakers should make a third attempt to adjust Kansas income tax filing guidelines.
“Half of us don’t want to take another bite of the apple,” he said. “They want Gov. Kelly to own it. The other half think it’s good policy.”
He warned, however, that if it passes, Kelly will get the credit for the policy, despite her original veto.