Jun 24, 2024

WAYMASTER: From the Dome to Home; Special session

Posted Jun 24, 2024 9:45 AM
Rep. Troy L. Waymaster, R-Bunker Hill, 109th Kansas House. Courtesy photo
Rep. Troy L. Waymaster, R-Bunker Hill, 109th Kansas House. Courtesy photo

Special Session

TOPEKA — Governor Laura Kelly vetoed three tax reduction bills during the 2024 legislative session. On May 29, 2024, she vetoed the latest tax bill and called for the legislature to return and address reducing taxes for Kansans. The special session was called for June 18, 2024.

There were only two items of business that we discussed during the special session: the reduction of taxes and a proposal referred to as the major professional sports franchise STAR bond district. We debated four tax reduction bills during the regular session and of those, three were vetoed. At the latter part of session, there were meetings and discussion about a STAR bond proposal as an attempt to entice the Kansas City Chiefs and/or Royals from the state of Missouri to Kansas. I will discuss these in more detail in the newsletter.

Governor Kelly signed both bills into law Friday morning.

Senate Bill 1: Tax Bill

Senate Bill 1 was introduced early Tuesday morning at the beginning of the Special Session that Governor Kelly called for the Legislature. This bill was negotiated with the Governor and the House and Senate to ensure that this tax reduction bill would be signed by the Governor as opposed to the others in the regular session that were vetoed. Late Tuesday morning, the Senate passed SB 1, 34-4, and early in the afternoon, the House passed the measure, 102-2. I voted “yes” because as I have stated all session when speaking about the budget, when we have an ending surplus of nearly $3 billion, we need to have tax relief for Kansans. Below are the details of SB 1.

SB 1 makes vairous changes to income, sales, and property tax law. This bill restructures the Kansas Individual income tax brackets to a two-bracket system, currently at three, for tax year 2024. For married individuals filing jointly, taxable income of $0 to $46,000 is reduced to 5.2% and income of $46,001 and more will have a reduced rate of 5.58%. For single filers the income levels for these same rates are $0 to $23,000 and over $23,001 and more for the latter.

Beginning in tax year 2024, all Social Security benefits will be exempt from Kansas Income Tax.

There is an increase to the standard deduction amounts to $3,605 for single filers and $8,240 for married filers. There is also an increase to $6,180 for head-of-household filing status for tax year 2024.

The bill also increases the amount of residential property exempted from the statewide uniform school finance levy to $75,000 of the appraised value. Currently, the amount that is exempt is $42,000.

SB 1 also increases the tax credit for household and dependent care expenses from 25% to 50% of the federally allowed amount for tax year 2024.

The bill also prohibits the sale price at which a property sells in an IRS Code Section 1031 exchange from being considered an indicator of fair market value or used in arriving at fair market value for property tax purposes. The bill excludes such sales from being considered valid sales for purposes of the sales ratio study used for measuring tax appraisal accuracy.

Professional Sports STAR Bonds Proposal

At the end of the regular session, especially after the failed sales tax extension vote in Jackson County, Missouri, there was an attempt to lure the Kansas City Chiefs and the Kansas City Royals to Kansas by altering our Sales Tax and Revenue (STAR) Bonds for the construction of new stadiums. When Governor Kelly called the special session for tax relief, it also allowed for more discussion with the two teams and interest in these alterations to the current STAR Bonds.

The modifications made in House Bill 2001 are an attempt to attract the Chiefs and Royal to Kansas. These changes are only valid for one year and it is specific to a stadium that is constructed with 30,000 or more seats for the purpose of holding a national football league or major league baseball team. The bill also stipulates that there can only be two stadiums that will qualify.

The bonds are generated by private investors and not the financial responsibility of the state or local governments where the stadiums are constructed. The bonds are paid back by the generation of sales, including alcohol, and transient guest taxes and franchise fees for the course of the length of the bond, which the bill states could be 30 years. The bill passed the House, 84-38 and the Senate, 27-8. I voted “yes.”

Contact Information

Anytime that you would like to participate and listen to the developments of interim committee hearings, you can tune in by video or audio at www.kslegislature.org.

As always, if you have any concerns, feel free to contact me 785-324-1822, follow 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