Kansas may consider keeping increased sales tax rates

Kansas increased sales tax rates

Kansas increased sales tax rates

The Kansas legislature is likely to revisit plans to repeal the “temporary” sales tax increase enacted two years ago when it comes back into session in mid January.  This means they may keep the increased sales tax rates.

In 2010 then-governor Mark Parkinson and the Kansas legislature increased sales taxes by a half percent to 6.3 percent to avoid having to make cuts to funding for schools and social services. The sales tax increase may become permanent however because income tax cuts set to take effect Jan. 1 will leave the state with a nearly $300 million budget shortfall for 2013.

The proposal, whether it is tied to income tax cuts or not, would face strong opposition from Democrats and Republicans alike because a sales tax freeze could be considered  the equivalent of a tax hike. Lawmakers say shifting the tax burden from income to sales will favor the wealthy and place a disproportionate burden working families because it raises the cost of groceries, clothing and other basic necessities.

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