Kansas House shifts to two-tier income tax plan

Acknowledging they don't have the support for a flat tax, House Republicans go for a two-bracket plan


State News

March 20, 2024 - 2:57 PM

Kansas capitol building. Photo by KANSAS REFLECTOR/SHERMAN SMITH

Kansas House Republicans announced a new two-rate tax reform plan on Tuesday after doubts that a single-rate plan would survive a likely veto from Gov. Laura Kelly.

The Senate passed its own single-rate plan last Thursday with a veto-proof majority if legislators maintained their votes, but at least two expressed doubts. Both chambers passed a version of a flat tax earlier in the session but failed to override a veto by Gov. Laura Kelly. 

“I am probably the most steadfast person on wanting a single rate tax,” House Speaker Dan Hawkins, R-Wichita, told the Topeka Capital-Journal. “We started talking about it clear back last year, and really, this whole year we worked towards that direction. But you can only do what you have votes for. And it became very evident to me. We’re not going to get to an override vote.”

The House’s new plan would get rid of a 3.1% tax bracket on individuals making between $2,500 to $15,000. It would reduce a 5.25% bracket to 5.2% for those making between $15,000 to $30,000, and go from 5.7% to 5.65% on those making over $30,000.

The proposal would also address property taxes and Social Security income. It would also abolish the Local Ad Valorem Tax Reduction Fund (LAVTRF), despite calls from local officials to replenish the fund this year.

The bill was set for a committee hearing Wednesday afternoon.