KS Senate grows tax bill to $470 million

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February 10, 2021 - 8:15 AM

TOPEKA — The Kansas Senate fought through a flurry of tricky procedural amendments Tuesday to more than double financial ramifications of a bill throwing tax breaks at multinational corporations sitting on overseas profits, wealthy people keen to itemize deductions, folks excited about higher standardized deductions and retirees weary of having Social Security benefits taxed.

What started out as a modest $175 million tax reform bill ballooned after several hours of Senate debate into what Republicans and Democrats figured to be a $450 million to $470 million package. Uncertainty about the financial bottom line of Senate Bill 22 was amplified when the Kansas Department of Revenue estimated the bill’s cost to the treasury could exceed $600 million.

Growth in the bill’s cost primarily resulted from dedication of $215 million for a state income tax exemption on retirement benefits in the fiscal year starting July 1 and the decision to provide $75 million to $80 million for expansion of the standard deduction on state income taxes.

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