Kansas Senate Debates Tax Hike Plan Wednesday

(AP) – The Kansas Senate is preparing to debate a plan for closing a projected state budget shortfall by raising sales, tobacco and gasoline taxes and suspending an income tax break for business owners.

The bill on senators’ agenda Wednesday would raise $496 million during the fiscal year beginning July 1.

It would increase the sales tax to 6.5 percent from 6.15 percent but drop the rate on food to 6 percent.

The cigarette tax would increase by 50 cents a pack to $1.29. The gasoline tax would rise by 5 cents a gallon to 29 cents.

The bill suspends for two years a 2012 policy exempting the profits of more than 330,000 business owners and farmers from taxes. They would get a less lucrative income tax credit against their payrolls instead.

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