KASB testifies on income tax, statewide mill levy

KASB testified in support of raising the state income tax rates and continuing and possibly raising the statewide mill levy to help fund K-12 education before the Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee Tuesday.

SB 192 would increase individual income tax rates, add a third bracket and repeal future rate reductions. It is somewhat similar to HB 2178, which was vetoed by Governor Brownback, and estimated to raise $578.5 million in FY 2018 and $440.5 million in FY 2019.

KASB testified in support of the bill, although it indicated that the revenue would not cover the entire budget problems of the state. The Kansas Center for Economic Growth testified as neutral because the bill would not raise as much money as required. The Kansas Policy Institute testified in opposition, arguing that the state budget deficit  should be addressed through funding cuts. Several business and other groups submitted written testimony in advance.

SB 146 would extend the statewide 20 mill property tax levy for two additional years, the maximum period allowed under the state constitution. KASB and Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, testified as proponents.

KASB also suggested the Legislature could consider raising the statewide levy as part of a revenue package, noting that Kansas ranks very low nationally in the amount of funding from property tax and other local sources. Kansas provides about $700 more pupil in direct state funding than the national average, but provides $1,600 less in local funding. Overall, Kansas funding per pupil fund is more than $1,000 below the national average.

Several members of the committee asked for information on the amount of property tax abatements that impact the 20 mill levy.

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