Kansas leaders push for tax relief following state surplus

Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 1:58 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas lawmakers on both sides are formulating *separate plans for tax relief following recent tax revenue totals.

On Tuesday, Nov. 14, leadership in the Kansas House of Representatives said they renewed calls for sustainable and long-term tax relief after the state’s revenue estimates were released.

Speaker Dan Hawkins (R-Wichita), Majority Leader Chris Croft (R-Overland Park), Speaker Pro Tempore Blake Carpenter (R-Derby) and Representative Adam Smith, Chairman of the House Committee on Taxation (R-Weskan) came together to issue a statement. The move followed the release of the updated state revenue estimates and a renewed push for a one-time tax rebate by Governor Laura Kelly.

“Looking ahead to the 2024 legislative session, House Republicans are laser-focused on what Kansans tell us they need and want most - comprehensive and sustainable tax relief that benefits every Kansan at all income levels,” the group stated.

The group indicated that revenue estimates reaffirmed earlier suspicions - more money is brought in than the state needs. They called for the money to now go back to Kansans in long-term and reliable tax relief.

“Kansans can’t pay their bills due to inflation. “Free government stimulus” money is exactly what caused this inflation in the first place, so Governor Kelly might need a lesson in basic economics - long-term tax relief will help Kansas families and the Kansas economy more than a one-time gimmick,” the leaders said.

The group called on the state to provide Kansans with broad tax relief while continuing diligence to pair sustainable tax cuts with a responsible budget in order to ensure the state and local governments remain in good standing well into the future.

“House budget and taxation committees have been working tirelessly to craft a beneficial, long-term tax relief plan that also places significant priority on the long-term well-being of state finances and that’s exactly what Republicans will deliver next year,” the group concluded.

House Democrats held a presser Tuesday detailing their proposal to impose multiple property tax reductions at the state level:

  • Replenishing the Local Ad Valorem Tax Reduction Fund (LAVTRF) is absolutely critical to lowering residential property taxes. Today’s proposal funds it at the statutorily-required 3.63% of state sales and use taxes ($130,000,000, $26 million more than last year’s proposal), directs the relief to residential properties only, and ensures this relief goes directly to homeowners regardless of local budgets.
  • Raising the exemption on the state’s 20 mill school levy from its current level of $42,000 to $100,000 is the next step. House Democrats proposed last year to raise this exemption to $65,000. Raising the exemption to $100,000 would mean relief of $110,000,000 annually for homeowners.
  • Allow Kansans the opportunity to vote on a proposed classification amendment reducing the assessment rate on the residential class of property from its current 11.5% to 9% over the course of five years. If adopted, this would mean an estimated $300,000,000 of annual residential tax reduction at the end of the five-year period. Introducing the phase-in approach addresses concerns that the shift onto other classes would be too dramatic while maintaining a substantial level of assistance for Kansans.

“We were pushing for this a little over a year ago because we saw what was happening to home values, which on the one hand is a good thing, the value of your house going up can actually be a good thing if you’re wanting to sell your house,” House Minority Leader Vic Miller said. “If you’re wanting to be able to afford to stay there, however, that evokes a significant increase in property taxes that some people can’t afford to pay.”

For more information about state taxes, click HERE.