Kansas House Rejects Sales Tax Hike

(AP) – The Kansas House has rejected a proposal to repeal an income tax break for business owners and farmers as it debates measures for raising new revenues to balance the state budget.

The House was debating a bill Friday to increase the state’s sales tax to 6.85 percent from 6.15 percent while dropping the rate on food to 5.9 percent.

Republican Rep. Bill Sutton of Gardner proposed an amendment to repeal a policy enacted in 2012 exempting the profits of more than 330,000 business owners and farmers from income taxes.

The House rejected Sutton’s proposal on a voice vote. Republican Gov. Sam Brownback has championed the tax break as an economic stimulus.

Legislators must close a projected budget shortfall of $406 million for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

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