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election 2017

GOP Kansas lawmakers push bill to reverse key income tax cut

Associated Press - March 8, 2016 7:30 pm

A top Democratic lawmaker says he is joining the crowded race to replace Republican Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. House Minority Leader Jim Ward of Wichita announced his candidacy Saturday. He had named former Democratic Party chairman Lee Kinch as his campaign treasurer earlier this week.

Three Republicans in the Kansas Senate have introduced a proposal to reverse an income tax cut for business owners championed by GOP Gov. Sam Brownback.

Senate Vice President Jeff King of Independence and Sens. Jim Denning and Greg Smith of Overland Park described the measure they unveiled Tuesday as a proposal to promote tax fairness.

Their bill would undo a 2012 policy that exempts more than 330,000 farmers and business owners from state income taxes. It would tax 70 percent of their income.

The state has struggled since to balance its budget, and the three senators said it will continue to do so as long as the full tax break remains in effect.

But Brownback spokeswoman Eileen Hawley said the governor will not support a tax increase on small businesses.