TOPEKA – The Senate this morning voted down a heavily altered version of Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax-cutting proposal, significantly reducing the chance that a sweeping income tax bill will be approved during this year’s legislative session.
The 20-20 vote effectively kills the bill unless the Senate decides to reconsider the bill and someone switches their vote.
Wichita Republican Sen. Les Donovan said he was disappointed and said some senators proposed amendments intended to vastly increase the price tag of the Governor’s plan.
The plan, as amended by a Senate panel, would have cost an estimated $105 million. After senators on Tuesday amended the plan to discontinue 6/10ths of a 1-cent sales tax approved in 2010 and retains a long list of tax credits and deductions that would have been eliminated under Brownback’s proposal, the cost ballooned to an estimated $800 million.
Secretary of Revenue Nick Jordan expressed disappointment in the Senate vote, but stopped short of saying the Brownback plan is dead for the year.
Meanwhile, the Senate voted 38-2 in favor of a bill that would give local governments $45 million a year for four years to provide property tax relief. Sens. Chris Steineger and Donovan opposed it.
Jordan acknowledged that would help reduce the tax burden in Kansas, but he said it wades into the world of local government, which the Brownback administration wanted to avoid. And he said that the income tax reduction package produced by the administration would have provided much more tax relief and spurred more economic growth.
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The vote tally on the Governor’s altered tax plan (Senate Sub for HB 2117):
Sens. Brungardt, Elmer, Faust-Goudeau, Francisco, Haley, Hensley, Holland, Huntington, Kelly, Kelsey, Kultala, Longbine, McGinn, Morris, Owens, Reitz, A.Schmidt, Teichman, Umbarger and Vratil.
Sens. Abrams, Apple, Bruce, Donovan, King, Love, Lynn, Marshall, Masterson, Merrick, Olson, Ostmeyer, Petersen, Pilcher-Cook, Pyle, V. Schmidt, Schodorf, Steineger, Taddiken and Wagle.