New plan emerges for raising taxes to balance Kansas budget

Kansas Legislature (KSN Photo)

TOPEKA, Kansas – Kansas legislative negotiators have drafted a proposal for balancing the state budget by increasing the sales tax and suspending the state’s “march to zero” on income taxes.

Three senators and three House members agreed Thursday on a plan that would raise the sales tax to 6.65 percent from 6.15 percent in July but drop the rate on food in January to 5.9 percent. Tobacco taxes also would rise.

The House could vote on the measure later Thursday.

The plan would raise $432 million during the fiscal year beginning July 1 to close a budget shortfall that arose after lawmakers cut income taxes in 2012 and 2013. Legislators also committed to eventually phasing out income taxes.

The plan would allow income tax cuts in 2019 and 2020 but not after that.

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