Senate Passes Tax Cuts After Brownback Steps In

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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UPDATE: Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Kansas Senate's decision to reverse course and pass a bill cutting taxes came after Gov. Sam Brownback and his staff talked to some senators.

Brownback spokeswoman Sherriene Jones-Sontag said Wednesday that Brownback and his staff spoke with an unspecified number of senators between two votes only two hours apart.

The bill reduces income and sales taxes, and it's dramatically different from Brownback's plan to overhaul the individual income tax code. But Brownback declared that it's a step toward creating more jobs.

The Republican-controlled Senate initially rejected the bill on a 20-20 vote, which left supporters one vote shy of the majority they needed. It was seen as a snub of Brownback.

But nine GOP senators switched their votes two hours later, when the vote was 29-11.

UPDATE: Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Kansas Senate has reconsidered its rejection of a bill cutting income and sales taxes and passed the measure.

The Senate approved the bill on a 29-11 vote Wednesday, only two hours after rejecting it on a 20-20 vote. Nine Republicans, including Senate President Steve Morris, of Hugoton, switched their votes.

The bill is dramatically different than Brownback's plan to overhaul the state's individual income tax code.

Senators embraced Brownback's proposals to cut the state's top individual income tax rates and eliminate income taxes for 191,000
businesses. But they rejected his proposals to eliminate income tax
credits and deductions and voted to cut the sales tax from 6.3
percent to 5.7 percent in July 2013.

The Senate also approved, 38-2, a separate property tax relief measure.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Kansas Senate has narrowly rejected a bill cutting sales and income taxes, repudiating Gov. Sam Brownback's approach on the year's signature issue.

The vote was 20-20, with a bipartisan coalition opposing the measure.

As it emerged from a three-hour debate Tuesday, the tax legislation was dramatically different from the Republican governor's proposal to overhaul the income tax code. Senators added a sales tax cut and junked much of Brownback's plan.

But on Wednesday, the potential cost of the bill, $829 million a year by 2014, scared off some senators.

Senators then approved, 38-2, a bill providing $180 million to cities and counties over the next four years to hold down their property taxes.

Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan called senators' actions disappointing but said the debate will continue.

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