The Senate Committee on Assessment and Taxation responded to the call by Governor Brownback in his State of the State Address to phase out the states income tax, with the filing of SB 78. Governor Brownback expressed in his address the need to reform the Sunflower states income tax rates in order to compete with neighboring states, especially Texas which has no state income tax. When speaking about his proposed plan, Governor Brownback stated, “What this is is a plan, a strategy that gets us to job growth,” also stating that reducing the states income tax will, “protect families.”
With the introduction of SB 78 on Friday, the Senate Committee on Assessment and Taxation took a major step forward in helping the Governor’s proposal become a reality. SB 78 dramatically reduces the state’s individual income tax. Over the next five years the bill proposes to reduce the individual income tax rates from where they are today at 3.5% for the bottom bracket and 6.45% for top earners to the rates of 1.9% and 3.5% respectively by 2017. In addition, SB 78 would consolidate Kansas’s three income tax brackets into two and eliminate the tangible property tax. The bill is currently scheduled for two days of hearings, which will begin on Tuesday, igniting the fight to lower the burden for the taxpayers of the state of Kansas.