TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Top Republicans in the Kansas Senate have outlined a plan to backtrack on personal income tax cuts championed by GOP Gov. Sam Brownback.
A bill before the Senate tax committee Monday would raise $660 million over two years. The state faces projected budget shortfalls totaling nearly $1.1 billion through June 2019.
“The challenge is that this bill still in no way addresses revenues and what we’re currently spending in the budget,” Sen. Tom Holland (D) said. “I’m really curious to hear from senate leadership how they want to address that structural gap.”
Senate Majority Leader and Overland Park Republican Jim Denning said the plan is a starting point for debating tax increases. But Democratic Sen. Laura Kelly of Topeka said the plan is “not good enough” to balance the budget.
Republican legislators slashed personal income taxes in 2012 and 2013 at Brownback’s urging in hopes of stimulating the economy.
“The thing that we’re facing is not just revenues but also Kansas being in a recession with oil and gas and agriculture,” Sen. Julia Lynn (R) said. “And that’s predicted to go on for quite awhile.”
The bill would raise rates for all income taxpayers and end an exemption for more than 330,000 farmers and business owners.