Kansas Tax Reform Could Bring Higher State Sales Tax Rate
- Jun 16, 2015 | Gail Cole
Update 1:15 p.m.: Gov. Brownback has signed House Substitute for Senate Bill No. 112 but has vetoed Sections 142(f) and 143(f) in their entirety. Additional information.
After weeks of acrimonious wrangling, the Kansas Legislature has agreed on a budget and tax bill that Governor Sam Brownback (R) might sign.
The governor thanked the Legislature for keeping the state “on a path of economic growth” and “creating well-paying jobs that benefit all Kansans.” He noted the measure “continues our transition from taxes on productivity to consumption-based taxes and provides a mechanism for reducing income tax rates for all our citizens.” However, he did not go so far as to say he would sign it.
Tax reform has been central to Gov. Brownback’s administration. In 2013, income tax rates were lowered, numerous deductions reduced and eliminated, and the state sales tax rate was cut – although not as much as anticipated (it had been scheduled to drop from 6.3% to 5.7% in July 2013 but instead dropped only to 6.15%). Yet the state is now unable to fulfill its fiscal obligations. Gov. Brownback finds himself reviled.
If the governor signs the legislation on his desk, the state sales tax rate will jump up to 6.5% on July 1, 2015 – one of the highest state rates in the nation. Tax on cigarettes will also increase dramatically, up 50 cents to $1.29 per pack. Together, these changes are expected to generate $384 million in the next fiscal year.
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