Feb 25, 2024

Murray: Possible 'path forward' despite flat-tax veto

Posted Feb 25, 2024 10:00 AM

Hutch Post

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Dan Murray with NFIB-Kansas was not pleased that Gov. Laura Kelly's veto of the flat tax bill passed by the Republican-controlled Kansas Legislature was sustained.

"It's unfortunate that the House was not able to muster the votes," Murray said. "We were not very optimistic that it would achieve the votes on the Senate side. Nonetheless, back to the drawing board. We think that Kansas small business owners need and deserve a tax break. We're sitting on $3 billion or more in reserves."

Murray does see a path forward this session, though.

"I hope, on behalf of our members, that the legislature finds a way to get there with the governor," Murray said. "I think that probably, the governor's proposal, which she put forward, which includes many of the elements that the Republican legislature has championed, if there's an addition of some reductions in income tax rates, there might be a path forward to get something done still, yet this year."

The importance of lowering the rate is amplified by the way taxes work for the majority of small business owners.

"Most small business owners, 75%, are filing at the individual level," Murray said. "Reductions in the individual income tax directly benefits small business owners, which means they can redirect those savings back to their employees through higher wages and benefits. They can redirect those savings to capital improvements in their businesses."

The turnaround deadline for bills in non-exempt committees to pass one chamber or be dead for the session was Friday, but tax policy takes place in exempt committees, so for that purpose, turnaround just allows for more focus on that type of issue in the session's final weeks.

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