Kansas lawmakers set to debate tax hike tied to schools plan

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas legislators are preparing to vote on a bill that ties an increase in income taxes to a plan for boosting spending on public schools.

Republican lawmakers pushing the plan Monday hoped it would settle the Legislature’s two biggest issues in a single package. A few critics likened the unusual legislative hybrid to Frankenstein’s monster.

The House was to debate the bill first Monday morning.

The measure raises more than $1 billion over two years by raising income tax rates and ending an exemption for 330,000-plus farmers and business owners. It also phases in a $285 million increase in education funding over two years.

Kansas faces projected budget shortfalls totaling $889 million through June 2019, and the state Supreme Court ruled in March that education funding is inadequate.

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