TOPEKA, Kansas – A Kansas House committee has approved a bill to end a business tax break championed by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.
The Taxation Committee’s 13-8 vote Monday sent the measure to the House for debate.
The committee is considering proposals to raise taxes to close a budget shortfall. Legislative researchers said the projected deficit is $406 million for the fiscal year beginning July 1.
“I believe the action by the House Tax Committee to repeal the large tax loophole is a good first step to ending the fiscal crisis,” House member Jim Ward tells KSN on Monday.
The bill clearing committee would raise $134 million during the next fiscal year.
The measure repeals a tax break for 333,000 business owners and farmers enacted in 2012 at Brownback’s urging to boost the economy. The policy exempted their business income from taxes.
The bill imposes a 2.7 percent tax on most of the income and a tax of 4.6 percent on rents and royalties.
Some senate members remain skeptical the tax breaks will be rolled back.
“I’m not sure the entire house could pass it,” says Senate member Michael O’Donnell of Wichita. “Also, I’m doubtful (the) Senate has the voted.”
Still, Ward says with a budget gap of more than $420 million, lawmakers will do something very soon, and he says it has a good chance of passing.
“It’s a good start,” reiterates Ward.