Governor’s Council on Tax Reform continues to study a broad range of issues 

A look back at tax policy adopted during the 2019 Legislative session was a big focus of the second meeting of the Governor’s Council on Tax Reform this week. SB 22 which was passed by both chambers of the Legislature but ultimately vetoed by Gov. Laura Kelly had many different elements with varying degrees of impact on Kansas taxpayers. 

The Council had an opportunity to walk through each piece of the legislation to better understand what the proposal was as well as to hear information on how those changes would have affected taxpayers in different situations. Dr. Donna Ginther, from the University of Kansas, offered a breakdown by giving examples of different taxpayer situations and what benefit they might see from the different pieces of SB 22. One of the important observations was on the limited number of people or businesses that would see the benefits of the varying tax cuts, or in the case of the proposed 1% reduction in food sales tax, the household impact ranged from $27 to $61  by her calculations. 

Additional time was spent hearing from Rep. Steven Johnson, Chair of the House Taxation Committee as well as Sen. Tom Holland and Rep. Jim Gartner, ranking minority members on their chamber’s respective tax committees.  Discussions were broad in concept and theory but also included some specific items of concern related to property tax rates and how increasing valuations affect retirees on fixed incomes. 

The Council will meet again the second week of November and will be working on some draft recommendations they may want to offer ahead of the upcoming legislative session. Copies of handouts and testimony from the two days of meetings can be found on the Governor’s website under the Council on Tax Reform tab here https://governor.kansas.gov/tax-reform-council-agenda-and-handouts-october-15-and-16-2019/ 

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