TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly on Wednesday proposed giving Kansas residents who filed state income tax returns last year a one-time rebate of $250, dropping the idea on a skeptical Republican-controlled Legislature as she faces a tough reelection race.
The governor had given no public hints that she was considering such a proposal, and she’s already called for eliminating the state’s high-for-the-U.S. sales tax on groceries. Her successful 2018 campaign for governor emphasized her opposition as a state senator to an earlier and nationally notorious experiment in slashing state income taxes under GOP Gov. Sam Brownback that was followed by persistent budget shortfalls.
But Kelly said Kansas can afford one-time rebates because the payments won’t permanently reduce state revenues. The state budget is in dramatically better shape than it was before lawmakers repealed most of the Brownback-era tax cuts in 2017, with tax collections exceeding expectations for all but three months since then.