Kansas GOP Senators Not Budging Much On Sales Tax

By: AP (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
By: AP (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
Senate President Susan Wagle of Wichita said Friday she thinks Republican Gov. Sam Brownback could veto tax legislation if it lets the sales tax fall below 6.2 percent.

Kan. Senate President, Susan Wagle (R), Jan. 14, 2013

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Republican leaders in the Kansas Senate aren't budging much on lowering the state's sales tax in July as part of a plan that also cuts income taxes.

Senate President Susan Wagle of Wichita said Friday she thinks Republican Gov. Sam Brownback could veto tax legislation if it lets the sales tax fall below 6.2 percent.

The Senate has approved Brownback's plan to keep the tax at 6.3 percent to stabilize the budget while pursuing income tax cuts. The House has passed legislation letting the fall to 5.7 percent as scheduled by state law.

Brownback spokeswoman Sherriene Jones-Sontag says the governor has not insisted on a specific sales tax rate, but has told lawmakers that the budget must be funded.

Earlier Friday, negotiations on the Kansas budget for the next two fiscal years came to an abrupt halt after senators demanded a final offer from the House that could lead to ending the 2013 session.

The talks were scheduled to begin Friday morning, following three rounds of negotiations Thursday which saw legislators make steady progress.

Senate Ways and Means Chairman Ty Masterson asked his House counterpart to move the process further along, seeking a final offer on higher education and a state employee salary cap that would pass the GOP-dominated House.

But House Appropriations Committee Chairman Marc Rhoades said the request couldn't be accommodated and canceled Friday's meetings.

Rhoades says he hopes to meet with House leaders and resume talks with the Senate on Monday.


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