Kansas legislators break off talks over tax cuts

Kan. lawmakers break off negotiations on final version of tax cuts until after spring break

Associated Press

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- Kansas lawmakers won't agree on the final version of tax-cutting legislation until they return in late April from their annual spring break.

House and Senate negotiators suspended talks Thursday on working out their chambers' differences on bills reducing individual income taxes and eliminating the income tax for some businesses. They also remain divided on cutting the sales tax.

Sen. Les Donovan, a Wichita Republican, and Rep. Richard Carlson, a St. Marys Republican, the lead negotiators for their chambers, said the talks are complicated because legislators must draft a package that doesn't create budget problems.

"There are still a lot of figures out there," Carlson said.

Legislators are scheduled to adjourn Friday and return April 25 to wrap up their business for the year. They won't be able to complete work on a $14.1 billion budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 without deciding how much to cut taxes.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is pushing the GOP-controlled Legislature to overhaul the individual income tax code, cut the state's top income tax rates and eliminate income taxes for 191,000 partnerships, sole proprietorships and other businesses.

Both chambers have alternative proposals for cutting top tax rates and helping businesses, and they differ on Brownback's proposals for eliminating tax credits and deductions.

The two chambers also have approved different proposals for reducing sales taxes, and they've passed bills aimed at controlling property taxes.

"There are many, many moving parts," Donovan said.

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