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Kansas House Committee Considering Sales Tax Hike

Stephen Koranda

The House Tax Committee is considering a plan to raise the sales tax in Kansas to help fill a budget hole. During a hearing Wednesday, no one spoke in favor of the plan and only one person signed up to speak against the bill. The Kansas Policy Institute opposes the tax increase and says lawmakers should instead consider more budget cuts.

The committee’s chairman, Republican Marvin Kleeb, says raising the state sales tax from 6.15 to 6.5 percent would provide a quicker infusion of cash.

“One of the benefits, if you want to call it that, of a consumption tax is you'll start to collect that tax immediately, where Income taxes will start to come in through paycheck withholdings and that’s a gradual process week by week or monthly,” says Kleeb.

Another group opposed to the tax hike submitted written testimony saying the increased sales tax on food would be a larger burden for low-income families.

Lawmakers are considering ways to fill a budget shortfall of more than $400 million. That comes after lawmakers cut taxes in the last several years.

This article is provided through a partnership with Kansas Public Radio.

Stephen Koranda is the Statehouse Bureau Chief for Kansas Public Radio.