Kansas House sends tax bill to Senate for vote

The Kansas House of Representatives passed a bill to raise taxes and close loopholes for farms and small businesses

TOPEKA, Kan (KSNT)  –  The Kansas House of Representatives passed a tax plan Thursday morning, but not by as much of a margin as supporters had hoped. The bill passed with 76 votes, seven less than the initial vote Wednesday.

“People have various reasons why they may decide to change their mind, but mostly it’s because other people have been working on them. I guess I really don’t look at what I lost. I just want to know it passed,” said Rep. Barbara Ballard (D-Lawrence).

The bill now heads to the Kansas Senate for a vote. The senate debated a similar tax bill Thursday afternoon, but did not bring the measure to a vote.

Governor Sam Brownback vowed Wednesday to fight any attempts to raise income taxes in Kansas. Currently the house bill does not have enough support to override a governor veto.

“All that has possibility of changing. People like me are thinking that we it gets over to the senate amendments will be made that we like,” said Rep. John Alcala (D-Topeka).

Alcala voted yes on HB 2178, but said he did have reservations. The bill raises taxes on all Kansans making over $30,000 a year. Alcala, who sits on the House Taxation Committee, said he would like to tax the top 25 percent more. He feels that would make the bill seem less like an attack on the middle class and therefore garner more support.

The bill currently has people making $30,001-$100,000 seeing a tax hike from 4.65% to 5.25%. Those making over $100,000 would pay 5.45% in income tax; however, Rep. Steven Johnson (R-Assaria) said those numbers could change as the legislature determines how much revenue is needed.

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