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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Kan. GOP income tax plan hits poorest

  •      Revenue estimates for the House Republican income tax plan show that the lowest income earners would be the only bracket that would see their tax rates go up.


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  •      Revenue estimates for the House Republican income tax plan show that the lowest income earners would be the only bracket that would see their tax rates go up.
         The estimates show the plan would cost Kansas more than $850 million over the next five years, possibly creating budget issues in future years. The Associated Press obtained the figures exclusively from a legislative source who wasn't authorized to release the information publicly.
         House Republican leaders developed the plan as an alternative to Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's income tax proposal. In both plans, the only group of taxpayers seeing a collective increase in their income taxes would be those with adjusted gross incomes of $25,000 or less.
         The bill was modified in the House Taxation Committee on Monday. It contains key elements from an earlier House GOP leaders' plan. It's less aggressive in cutting tax rates and helping businesses than Brownback's plan, and it scales back a tax credit for poor workers, rather than eliminate it, as the governor proposed. Also, the plan keeps other income tax credits and deductions that Brownback said he would eliminate.
         The committee's plan also reduces the state's sales tax to 5.7 percent from 6.3 percent in July 2013, a promise lawmakers made in 2010 when they boosted the rate to help balance the state budget. Brownback had proposed keeping the rate at 6.3 percent to help offset other tax cuts.
         Brownback proposed ending the tax credit for poor workers and using the savings to boost spending on services. Internal administration figures showed taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes of $25,000 or less would be the only group seeing a collective income tax increase, worth a total $88 million — or more than 5,100 percent.
         The House GOP plan modifies that element, cutting the earned income tax credit for poor workers in half. The plan also proposes ending refunds greater than the taxes owed. For example, a worker who's due a credit of $500 but has a tax liability of $100 receives a $400 refund.

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