Kansas Chamber introduces bills to lower, modernize income tax rates

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Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 9:01 AM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Two bills have been introduced in the Legislature by the Kansas Chamber that would reduce the state’s income tax rates as well as modernize the state’s tax code.

On Monday, Jan. 23, the Kansas Chamber announced its introduction of legislation that would modernize the state’s tax code and lower the tax burden on all Kansas taxpayers.

“The state’s record-breaking tax revenue collected the last few years gives lawmakers the opportunity to build on recent updates and strategically modernize the state’s tax code,” said Chamber President and CEO Alan Cobb. “As demonstrated by the success of numerous other states, the Chamber believes a single-rate tax that exempts the first $15,000 of income will move Kansas from the bottom half of the region and make the state more competitive and attractive to investment and workforce.”

Currently, the Chamber noted that the Sunflower State has a 3-tiered system of 3%, 5.25% and 5.7% on personal income. Businesses pay 4% on the first $50,000 and another 3% surcharge on the rest - effectively 7% - in corporate income taxes.

Introduced on Thursday in the Legislature, Cobb said Senate Bill 61 and House Bill 2061 would lower personal and corporate income taxes to 5% and exempt the first $15,000. This would avoid a tax increase on lower-income Kansans and businesses.

“Similar to a flat tax, a single-rate tax rate will simplify our state’s tax code and will make it easier for taxpayers and state leaders to know what is expected. But it doesn’t eliminate existing deductions,” said Cobb.

The Chamber also indicated that it included in the bill’s language - based on North Carolina’s growth trigger - that any revenues more than what is estimated to be received by the Kansas Consensus Revenue Estimating Group would be split to further buy down income taxes on both personal and corporate income.

“Having a trigger in place that lowers the tax burden in a responsible way will keep Kansas competitive as other states lower their tax rates and ensure excess revenue isn’t used to unnecessarily increase government spending,” Cobb said.

The Chamber noted that the use of a portion of the recent significant budget surplus for overall rate reductions is part of its 2023 Legislative and Policy Agenda.