With the passage of the House version of Senate Bill 22, a piece of legislation backed by the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, it is important to get their perspective on what the bill is and is not.
“There are some that are continuing to call this a Brownback-like tax cut,” said Eric Stafford, VP of Government Affairs for the Kansas Chamber. “That’s just factually inaccurate. The Governor’s tax cuts from 2012 lowered rates and broadened the base. This has nothing to do with lowering rates or tax tables. All that we’re doing is decoupling from federal provisions that were changes made from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.”
Since Kansas did not lower its corporate rates in the same way the federal government did, it needs to decouple to realize some of the Act’s benefits, according to the Chamber.
“We’re not getting the lowered rates that took place at the federal level,” said Stafford. “Therefore, Kansas is going to see a tax increase, both on businesses and on individuals, if Senate Bill 22 does not pass.”
Stafford said the corporate revenue since passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is new revenue to the state.
“They’re decoupling from provisions largely dealing with foreign income,” said Stafford. “Businesses that are operating overseas that will be taxed on that foreign income that Kansas has never taxed in the past, so why should they start taxing it today?”
Though the Republican-controlled House did pass its version with a strong majority, it was not more than two-thirds of the body, which, without further support, could make any compromise bill potentially subject to a veto from Democratic Governor Laura Kelly.