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In Kansas, tax reform makes halting progress

Topeka Capital-Journal

The Kansas Legislature continues to struggle with ways to increase tax revenue and fill the state’s staggering budget gap of almost a billion dollars.

As The Topeka Capital-Journal reports, a tax committee appointed by the Senate has proposed a bill to raise the upper rate for income tax while reducing the rate for the lower bracket. The bill would also lower the state’s 6.5 percent sales tax on groceries to 6 percent in 2020.

In addition, the committee has suggested a measure that would repeal the income tax exemption for business owners. Partisanship in the state has made raising taxes in the past a difficult task.

Governor Sam Brownback’s experiment to massively cut tax revenue in hopes that the savings to businesses and citizens would stimulate growth has largely been a failure. As a result, a bipartisan group of former state governors has urged tax reform in Kansas.