February 17th, 2017
Written by Chuck Samples
It's not veto-proof, but the Kansas Senate has approved a budget that fills revenue shortfalls -- and raises taxes to do it.
Senators voted 22-18 to approve a House package that eliminates the so-called LLC tax exemption, one of Gov. Sam Brownback's pillars of his revenue policy when enacted in 2012. It also re-enacts a third income tax bracket for people making over $100,000 a year and it increases the tax rate from 4.6 to 5.45 percent for those making between $30,000 and $60,000 annually.
Gov. Brownback has said he will not sign the bill. The 22 votes in the Senate fall short of the 27 needed to override a veto. The House, meanwhile, passed the legislation Thursday by a 76-48 vote -- short of the 84 votes needed to make the package veto-proof.
KVOE News has reached out to local and area lawmakers for their comment. We anticipate having that this weekend on KVOE and KVOE.com.
7:45 am Friday: Budget plan goes from House to Senate
A budget fix for the current-year shortfall will transfer from the House to the Senate for more discussion Friday.
The state has to come up with over $310 million to stay above water through June, and a trio of bills advanced Thursday to raise the necessary money. One would borrow more than $317 million from a state-managed investment fund. Another would both roll back the so-called LLC tax exemption passed in 2012 and add a third income tax bracket. The third bill would freeze employer contribution levels to KPERS.
Estimates have this package generating enough to both end the current shortfall and close the fiscal 2018 hole of over $500 million. Critics, though, say it's the biggest tax increase in state history.
The Senate, meanwhile, turned down a bill put together by Democrats and moderate Republicans that, like the House plan, also rolled back the LLC tax exemption and added a third income tax bracket. The full Senate plans to take up the House plan Friday.