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Chamber seeks more tax cuts

The Kansas Chamber will seek a reduction in state corporate income taxes in the 2013 legislative session as part of a three-approach strategy, CEO Mike O’Neal said last week to the Topeka Independent Business Association.

O’Neal, a former Kansas House speaker, said he would like to see the corporate tax eliminated entirely, but said the resulting loss of $280 million a year must be phased in over several budgets.

The ultimate goal is to wipe out the corporate and personal income tax and many of the business taxes, O’Neal said.

“You don’t do that overnight, but we want to start that,” he said.

Lawmakers in 2012 reduced the top personal income tax rate to 4.9% from 6.45%.

Gov. Sam Brownback has proposed delaying a drop in the state sales tax in fiscal 2014 to 5.7% from the current 6.3%, but O’Neal said Republicans in the Legislature are unlikely to favor a delay.

“We want to continue to work on tax reduction without any tax increases,” he said.

Brownback said the delay was needed to avoid a short-term shortfall from the 2012 tax cuts. O’Neal said the drop in the sales tax should be delayed only if efforts to cut spending fail in the session that began Monday, Jan. 14.

The Chamber will also for state spending cuts and a immigration policy that does not punish businesses who unknowingly hire undocumented workers, O’Neal said.

“We will fight (an immigration) policy that’s anti-competitive and anti-business,” he said.

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