Legislature overrides Brownback

By Adam Strunk

The Kansas Legislature has approved a tax bill that effectively repeals swaths of the Brownback tax cuts from 2012 and 2013.

The House voted 88 to 31 to approve a tax bill that increases income tax brackets, returns limited liability corporations to the tax rolls and re-establishes a number of tax deductions to the tax code.

The law is expected to generate $1.2 billion in additional revenue for the State of Kansas in the next two years.

“This plan has things that are important to us,” said an elated Newton State Representative Tim Hodge. “I ran on returning the childcare tax credit. I’ve been irritated about that for years. We held out to get the deductions for people back home. We got the property tax deduction.”

The law establishes three tax brackets, with the lowest bracket paying 3.1 percent of income in taxes per year, those of the middle bracket paying 5.25 percent of their income in taxes and those in the top bracket paying 5.7 percent.

That represents an in increase in taxes from the previous plan that had two tiers, with single people making under $15,000 paying 2.7 percent of their income in taxes and those making more paying 4.6 percent.

The house vote represents a veto-proof majority following Governor Sam Brownback’s promise to veto the proposed bill. The Kansas Senate also voted with a veto-proof majority on the plan earlier in the week. Local Senator Carolyn McGinn voted in favor of the tax plan.

Hodge said returning tax deductions to the bill was important in convincing him to vote for the plan. He voted against an earlier similar plan for the lack of the deductions.

Hodge added that he hoped the legislature would complete their business at the end of the week. Whether that holds true depends on the huge number of other legislators in the state.