Yet Another Plan Goes Down

After Sunday night’s defeat of the Abrams amendment to HB 2109 (the Senate tax bill), Senate leadership regrouped and on Monday brought forth a new amendment based on the Governor’s tax proposal.

The plan, carried by Tax Committee Chairman Les Donovan (R-Wichita), contained the following:

  • The itemized deduction proposal – repealing all but charitable contributions, home mortgage interest, and property taxes paid with the latter two at 50%.
  • Taxing the “guaranteed payments” in income tax exempt businesses (governor’s proposal).
  • Freezing the income tax rates through tax year 2017, dropping them to 2.0/4.1% in 2018 and 2019; and 1.9/3.8% in tax year 2020.
  • Raising the threshold under which one would owe no income taxes (governor’s proposal)
  • Repeal the remaining food sales tax exemption.
  • Raise sales tax on everything to 6.5% on July 1; drop the sales tax on food to 6.0% on Jan. 1.
  • The tax amnesty program.
  • Increase cigarette tax by $0.50/pack.
  • Tax e-cigarettes at $0.20/ml.
  • Assume the MCO fee increase.

Senator Anthony Hensley (D-Topeka) asked that the amendment be divided into three parts. Part A would be raising the threshold under which one would owe no income taxes (governor’s proposal); part B would be the sales tax provisions; part C would contain the remainder of the amendments.

Part A, exempting some of the lowest income Kansans from paying income taxes, passed on a vote of 33 to 4 with only Abrams, Donovan, Ostmeyer, and Smith voting NO. Francisco did not vote; Arpke and Wilborn were absent.

The next vote was on the sales tax increases. The tax increases failed on a vote of 8 to 30 with only Donovan, Holmes, Kerschen, King, Longbine, Olson, Powell, and Wagle voting YES.

The third part, which was everything else in the above list was voted down on a voice vote.

The Senate then adjourned for the day to return today at 10:00 am.

Senate again adopts HB 2353

Earlier both the House and Senate had adopted HB 2353, the bill containing clean-up fixes to the block grant bill, SB 7, and the education community’s PNA consensus bill.

It was discovered later that there was an error in the drafting of the bill that had to be fixed so both chambers brought the bill back up and formed a conference committee to fix the error. This was accomplished during a meeting at the rail. No changes were made to the PNA provisions.

Yesterday the Senate adopted the conference committee report. Now it only needs to be adopted by the House.