Kansas is “open for business," according to the enthusiastic proclamation made by Gov. Sam Brownback Thursday morning as he signed a controversial tax bill in Overland Park, Kan.
The governor was referring to the impact of second year cuts in state income taxes that he and supporters claim will attract economic development to the state - enough economic development to offset expected budget shortfalls in coming years.
The chair of the Kansas House Tax Committee is responding to claims from Democrats about the tax plan passed by the Legislature last weekend. The Republican-dominated Legislature passed a bill that will cut income tax rates, but will also keep the sales tax elevated and reduce income tax deductions.
The Chair of the state Democratic Party, former revenue secretary Joan Wagnon, says legislators broke their promise to let a temporary sales tax expire, and put a bigger burden on working Kansans, amounting to a more than $750 million tax increase.
Kansas lawmakers return to Topeka Tuesday to dive back into the contentious debate over budget and tax bills.
State Representatives and Senators were quoted using words like “dumbfounded” to express frustration that they can’t agree on either a budget or tax bill. Lawmakers had planned to wrap up the legislative in 80-days instead of the mandated 90-days. Instead, the session has run long like it has in most recent years.