Senate tax committee to consider increases

Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee Chair Sen. Caryn Tyson, R-Parker, has scheduled an 8 a.m. meeting on Tuesday to once again begin work on a tax package.

SB 215 will get a “short” hearing to start the process of using it as a vehicle for a recommended tax package. SB 215 mirrors the rates and actions of HB 2178, which fell three votes short of having Gov. Sam Brownback’s veto overridden at the end of February.

The one big difference between SB 215 and HB 2178 is the removal of the retroactive implementation of the income tax rate changes to Jan. 1 of 2017. The retroactivity was cited by Brownback in his veto message and Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, and Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, R-Overland Park, when they did not vote to override the Governor’s veto.

The change in start dates will mainly affect the amount of revenue collected in fiscal year 2018, which will go from an estimated $590.2 million in HB 2178 to an estimated $300 million in SB 215.  Revenue numbers in FY ’19 will then be the same at an estimated $453.8 million.

The estimated revenue impact in FY ’18 will be key, as the Senate Ways & Means Committee prepares to forward their two-year budget Mega-Bill SB 189, that currently projects a $404.0 million deficit. Any gap that is not closed through additional revenue would have to be closed with cuts, putting schools at risk once again of losing funding.

The committee will also work SB 214, which will restore some of the income tax deductions that were removed by action of the Legislature in previous years.

The Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee meets in room 548-S which is livestreamed. Here is the link.

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