Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed income tax cuts passed by the 2013 Legislature that will lower the tax rate over the next five years.
The top tax rate will drop to 3.9% from the current 4.9% by 2018. If state revenues grow by more than 2% a year, the rate will drop even further after that.
“This approach broadens the base and lowers tax rates for the benefit of the maximum number of Kansans,” Brownback said last week at a signing ceremony.
The tax package includes a measure avoiding a scheduled reduction in the state sales tax to from the current 6.3% to 5.7%. The rate will drop instead to 6.15%.
Brownback had asked lawmakers to keep the sales tax rate at 6.3% to avoid revenue shortfalls due to the lower income tax rate. The revised sales tax is expected to bring in almost $800 million more over the next five years than the 5.7% would have generated.
The lower income tax rate is accompanied by lower standard tax deductions for married couples and single parents.
Sen. Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, leader of the Senate Democrats, said Brownback’s tax plan increases the burden on middle-class taxpayers and reduces revenue needed to run the state.
“It just won’t work,” Henley said. “The numbers don’t add up.”