House fails to override flat-tax veto

Kansas Republicans fell just short of the votes required to override Gov. Laura Kelly's veto of a tax reform bill that features a single income tax rate of 5.25%.

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State News

February 21, 2024 - 2:54 PM

Weskan Rep. Adam Smith, chairman of the House Taxation Committee, failed to convince two-thirds of his colleagues to support an override of Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto of a Republican-crafted bill altering state income, sales and property tax law. Photo by Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector

TOPEKA — The Republican-led Kansas House failed Tuesday to override Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto of a tax reform bill anchored by implementation of a single, flat state income tax rate of 5.25% in addition to elimination of the state sales tax on groceries and creation of a tax exemption for all Social Security income.

The GOP holds supermajorities in the House and Senate, but there was skepticism that both chambers could muster two-thirds majorities necessary to rebuke Kelly given opposition among conservative and moderate Republicans to parts of the three-year, $1.6 billion tax cut favoring the state’s most wealthy. During the past several weeks, House Speaker Dan Hawkins indicated he had the votes for an override but was concerned about passage in the Kansas Senate.

Hawkins, of Wichita, and House Majority Leader Chris Croft, of Overland Park, said it was “irresponsible and unacceptable that Governor Kelly and her allies chose to play politics and deny meaningful tax relief to all Kansans.”

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