Kansas House Rejects Sales Tax Plan, Session Continues

By: AP (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
By: AP (Posted by Melissa Brunner)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ The Kansas House has rejected a plan for cutting personal income taxes further and setting the state's sales tax at 6 percent in July to prevent budget shortfalls.

The vote Tuesday was 71-42 against the measure.

Republican legislative leaders said they're not sure of their next step.

The measure was drafted by House and Senate negotiators to reconcile differences on legislation following individual income tax cuts enacted last year.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback wants to raise new sales tax revenues to stabilize the budget. The tax is 6.3 percent but is set by law to drop law to 5.7 percent in July.

GOP lawmakers' disagreements on taxes have blocked action on a proposed $14.5 billion budget for each of the next two fiscal years, starting in July.

House Speaker Ray Merrick, R-Stillwell, supported the results of the vote.

“It is critical to the House that we keep the burden on working families as low as possible,” Merrick said. “The House this session has always had trouble extending the sales tax and that is what you saw (Tuesday).”

House Democratic Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, issued a statement expressing frustration over the negotiations.

"Every day that the Legislature meets in overtime costs Kansas taxpayers an additional $45,000 a day. Gov. Brownback proved yet again today that he is unable to negotiate compromise," Davis said. "There are simply not enough votes to pass a tax increase in the House. It's time for Gov. Brownback to finally bring this chaotic legislative session to an end."

The legislature is in Day 95 of its scheduled 90-day session.


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