After making little progress for weeks, public negotiations on taxes have continued in the Kansas Statehouse. Legislative leaders and the governor had been meeting behind closed doors, but this week it appeared those talks had stalled. House and Senate negotiators held a public meeting Wednesday, and House members offered a new compromise.
The House and Senate have been divided on the issue of sales taxes. Republican leaders in both chambers want to cut income tax rates. Senators want to make a temporary sales tax increase permanent, so they can lower income tax rates more quickly. House leaders want to let the sales tax expire as planned and lower income tax rates more slowly. The compromise would split the difference on sales taxes, by letting half the temporary sales tax expire later this year.
Representative Richard Carlson, a Republican from St. Marys, calls it a big step in the negotiations.
“The important part of today is I called the meeting because I felt it was important that we make a good faith effort of coming half way to the Senate,” says Carlson. “We ask them to come halfway of us.”
Democrats argue both the House and Senate plans are a tax increase.