Lawmakers Open Negotiations on Tax Proposals

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) The Kansas Senate’s top negotiator on taxes says canceling a scheduled decrease in the sales tax is vital to allowing future reductions in income tax rates.

Wichita Republican Les Donovan defended the Senate’s proposal to keep the sales tax at its current 6.3 percent rate as his chamber opened talks Wednesday with the House. The tax is set to decline to 5.7 percent in July by law.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback and many GOP legislators want to follow up on personal income tax cuts with more cuts in income tax rates. But the state also must stabilize its budget.

Brownback and the Senate want to cancel the sales tax decrease while reducing income taxes further.

The House plan would drop the sales tax and cut income taxes less aggressively.