Senate Committee Hears Tax Bills

This week, before a room filled with both supporters and opponents, the Senate Ways and Means Committee heard two tax bills: SB 611 and SB 617. Senator Andrew Koenig’s (R-Manchester)version (SB 611) would reduce the top income tax rate for individuals, lower the corporate rate by two percent and cap sales taxes authorized by local government. Senator Bill Eigel’s (R-St. Peters) proposal (SB 617) would eliminate six tax brackets, leaving a top rate of 4.8 percent for all income over $7,000 and a bottom rate of 3.5 percent. His proposal would also raise fuel tax by six percent to offset lost revenue. 

Both senators argued that lowering the tax rates will generate jobs. However, a fiscal analysis shows there would be less revenue in the state if either measure was adopted.  The measures could cost the state between $288 million and $529 million in next year’s budget. Opponents were quick to point out the folly of following Kansas’ lead in reducing taxes.