January 19, 2024
Tax Plan Passes the House
This week, the House and Senate leaders met and decided on a comprehensive tax proposal. Thursday, we debated the conference committee report in both chambers.
The tax proposal includes the reduction of the tax burden on Kansans for income, property, and sales taxes.
The most controversial item of the tax plan, and the reason why I tend to believe the governor will veto this bill, is the consolidation of the three-bracket system to a “flat tax” at a rate of 5.25%.
Another provision that was actually part of the governor’s proposal, would exempt Social Security income from the state income tax. The elimination of taxing social security income would generate a savings to retired Kansans of $152 million.
The tax plan has a provision regarding the Kansas standard deduction for personal income tax. The standard deduction would stay at $3,500 for individuals and $8,000 for married filing jointly, though, it would account for an inflation growth index.
The plan would also eliminate the sales tax on food on July 1, 2024. Current law has the elimination of state’s portion of the sales tax on January 1, 2025.
The plan also increases the residential exemption on the 20 mills property tax. The exemption would be increased from $43,000 to $100,000 and produces a taxpayer savings of approximately $85 million in fiscal year 2025. This is real property tax relief that the state controls regarding residential property taxes.
Many of the provisions embedded in this tax policy are those that the governor proposed when she released her budget last week.
On Wednesday, January 17, 2024, the House Appropriations Committee met for the first time, aside from the joint meeting that we had with Senate Ways and Means last week when Governor Kelly’s budget was released. Many reports were distributed to the committee, such as the Kansas Department of Corrections Report on the implementation of House Bill 2021; Kansas Housing Resources Corporations Annual Report, and the Public Defender Staffing Report.
Thursday, we had a briefing on the oil and gas industry in the state of Kansas by the Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association. We also had an update from the Kansas Geological Survey and from the Kansas Corporation Commission with an update to the Abandoned Oil and Gas Well Fund. Next week, we will be starting the budget reporting process as we have three budget committees that will be reporting back to the House Appropriations Committee.
Numerous bills are introduced during the legislative session, especially at the beginning of the session. Here are some of the bills that were introduced this week:
House Bill 2506 would authorize students that are enrolled in virtual schools to participate in activities that are regulated by the Kansas High School Activities Association.
House Bill 2505 would permit vehicle dealers to sell vehicles on consignment contracts.
House Bill 2504 requires that only physical paper ballots be used for the purpose of conducting audits.
House Bill 2509 provides reimbursement payments for the cost of career technical education credential assessments to school districts under the Career Technical Education Credential and Transition Incentive for Employment Success Act.
House Concurrent Resolution 5020 amends the Bill of Rights of the Kansas State Constitution to recognize the right to bear arms as a fundamental right. I co-sponsored this resolution.
Across the dome in the Senate, these bills have been introduced:
Senate Bill 349 relates to the passenger rail service program and establishes intercity passenger rail service program.
Senate Bill 350 is a bill concerning the Kansas Fights Addiction Act and would add a for-profit private entity to the definition of “qualified applicant.”
During the next few months, I will be following these and other bills as they progress through the legislative session.
Anytime that you would like to participate and listen to the developments of committee hearings or discussion on the House floor, you can tune in by video or audio at www.kslegislature.org.
As always, if you have any concerns, feel free to contact me 785- 296-7672, follow me on twitter at @waymaster4house, or email me at [email protected].
It is a distinct honor to serve as your representative for the 109th Kansas House District and the state of Kansas. Please contact me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions. I always appreciate hearing from the residents of the 109th House District and others from the state of Kansas, as well.
Rep. Troy Waymaster is the House Appropriations Committee chairman and representative of the Kansas House 109th District which includes Ellsworth, Lincoln, Osborne, Russell, and Smith counties.