TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has endorsed a proposal to use a “flat” personal income tax to raise new revenue to fix the state’s serious budget problems.
The conservative Republican governor said in a statement Wednesday that he would sign a bill like one before the state Senate.
It would impose a 4.6 percent rate for all filers starting next year. That is the top rate for higher-income earners, and the bill would eliminate the 2.7 percent rate now in place for lower-income filers.
The bill would also eliminate an income tax exemption for 330,000-plus farmers and business owners that Brownback has championed.
Critics contend the bill would hit middle-class families hardest. It would raise about $690 million over two years. Kansas faces budget shortfalls totaling more than $1 billion.
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback today issued the following statement regarding flat tax legislation:
“My goal has always been to make Kansas the best state in America to raise a family and grow a business. A flat tax accomplishes this goal by making taxes fair for everyone and encouraging economic growth.
“The Senate’s flat tax legislation creates a single low tax rate for Kansans, solving today’s budget challenges without unnecessarily harming economic growth in Kansas. If the legislature sends a bill to my desk similar in nature to SB 214, I will sign it.”