Kansas Governor Wants to Extend a Sales Tax Increase
- Jan 25, 2013 | Gail Cole
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback (R) has released his fiscal year 2014-15 budget proposal. It's controversial, to say the least. Much of the controversy revolves his plan to extend a temporary sales tax increase and cut the state's income tax.
House Minority Leader Paul Davis (D-Lawrence) said, "This budget is being held together by duct tape and dental floss." Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley (D-Topeka) notes that "[i]t's all premised on keeping this irresponsible income tax (cut) in place."
The Kansas Policy Institute approves of lowering income taxes but says "increasing the sales taxes in July is not the way to do it." It acknowledges that "[c]ompletely eliminating the income tax may require a sales tax increase," but says the rate cannot yet be determined.
New Republican Senator Jake Turner (R-Pittsburg) says he's against extending that sales tax increase in July for one simple reason, "The Legislature made a promise to the people of Kansas. When you make a promise, you ought to keep it."
Keep the one-cent sales tax increase that was passed in 2010: This tax was to be temporary, and was to drop to by 0.6 cents on July 1, 2013 (from 6.3% to 5.7%). The governor proposes keeping it, thereby raising $262.3 million. (p.32).
Cut the state income tax: The governor would like to stay on the path to eliminate the personal income tax. The state moved to a two-bracket system and dropped rates on Jan 1, 2013, and rates would continue to fall over the next three years. In 2017, the high tax bracket would drop to 3.5% (from 4.9%) and the low tax bracket would drop to 1.9% (from 3%). "In exchange the lower state income rates, " the governor proposes "leaving the state sales tax flat at its current level … ."
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