February 24, 2024

Keeping Media and Government Accountable.

Senate, House Pass Largest Tax Increase in KS History

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The Kansas Senate approved the largest tax hike in state history a day after the House offered bipartisan support to the measure. The bill only narrowly passed the Senate, 22-18, but it passed the House in overwhelming fashion, 76-48.

Gov. Sam Brownback hasn’t said whether he would veto the bill, which raises income taxes on Kansans who earn more than $15,000 annually and rolls back in LLC-tax exemption adopted in 2012. The Governor said he will not sign the bill, but it can become law without his signature.

Senate President Susan Wagle voted against the tax rate hike, however, within an hour of the vote, she admonished the Governor to allow it to become law. In a series of tweets, she said the legislation’s passage sent a bipartisan message to appropriators.

She tweeted that if Gov. Brownback vetoes the bill, he should swiftly present the legislature with a “real structural budget fix.”

Brownback proposed a budget for the next two years that would increase sales taxes on alcohol and tobacco and use money from the highway fund and a tobacco settlement to fill projected budget shortfalls over the next two years. It would freeze income tax rates for the lowest tax bracket, and create a statewide health plan for the state’s 286 school district employees.

Once the tax hike legislation reaches the Governor’s desk, Brownback has three options: He can sign it, and it becomes law. He can choose not to sign it, and in 10 days, it becomes law. Or, he can veto it.


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