June 16, 2024

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Senate Tax Committee Forwards 2 Plans to Senate Floor

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The Senate Tax and Assessment Committee will forward two tax proposals to the full Senate for consideration. The Senate Leadership Tax Plan, SB 147, and an alternative tax plan, a substitute bill for SB 97.

The Senate Leadership bill increases income tax rates and rolls back the LLC-exemption. Sen. Marci Francisco, a Lawrence Democrat, successfully amended the bill to change collections for the sale of livestock and Christmas trees, but she later asked that her vote against forwarding the Senate Leadership Bill be recorded.

The leadership tax policy changes would add about $660 million in new revenue over the next two years.

“I don’t know if it’s enough, and we need to, I think look at other issues of tax fairness that this committee has not had a chance to fully debate,” she said.

Sen. Julia Lynn, an Olathe Republican, supported forwarding the tax increase proposal to the Senate floor. She said she’s supported the measure for one reason:

“This is a situation that has been floundering for four years,” she said. “And although it might not be the best bill that’s put forward, it’s the beginning of a process.”

Lynn called it a “starting point.”

“It will change, but we’ve got to get the discussion onto the Senate floor, and that’s what this bill does,” Lynn said.

The committee also forwarded an alternative tax plan to the Senate floor, using a gut-and-go to fast track the legislation. Sen. Caryn Tyson, committee chair, requested that the committee gut a bill that would have offered cash rebates on the sales and leases of new vehicles, and replaced it with wording to create one income tax rate of 3.9 precent. The proposal would reduce the sales tax rate on food to 5.5 percent. As sales tax revenues increased by 1 percent annually, the food sales tax would ratchet down by two-tenths of a percent annually until the food sales tax could be dropped to zero. Tyson’s proposal and the Senate leadership proposal eliminate the LLC or the small business tax exemption.

Tyson, a Parker Republican, said her proposal gives the Senate another tax policy option to consider.

“Senate Bill 147 was a leadership bill,” she told the committee. “I’m just trying to make sure—we’ll see how that plays out, and then we’ll have another option before us. This is getting the conversation going and getting some movement. That’s what this bill would do also.”

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