TOPEKA (KSNT)- Tax cuts will most likely be a focus for lawmakers in Kansas next session, and, according to political experts, it could also be a ‘make or break’ for the 2024 Election.
In an interview with Kansas Capitol Bureau, Republican House Speaker, Dan Hawkins, said that party members are planning to introduce a tax package, similar to one that failed to stand this year.
“Will it be exactly the same? We don’t know that, but it will be a tax plan that mirrors it a lot,” Speaker Hawkins, R-Wichita, said.
Democratic Governor Laura Kelly’s veto of this year’s Republican tax package was sustained. The plan was estimated to cost more than $1.3 billion over the next three years. It also included a “flat” income tax rate of 5.15%, which some Democrats took issue with.
In the end, the tax plan missed a few key votes from some Republican lawmakers to override the governor’s veto in the Senate.
However, Political Analyst Bob Beatty said that could change during next year’s legislative session.
“Even while some Republicans were upset they did not get the tax cut package this year…in some ways, they may even benefit from it more by getting it passed in 2024,” Beatty said. “And there may be some Republicans, who didn’t vote for it this year, who said, well, ‘I’m likely to vote for it next year, during an election year.'”
Kansas lawmakers also have a lot more money to spend in 2024. The state’s budget is trending up. On the final day of session last month, a Kansas Legislative Research Department report predicted that lawmakers will have about $2.6 billion to spend come January.
Kansas Capitol Bureau spoke with State Budget Director Adam Profitt last month about potential tax cuts proposed by the Legislature.
“It’s got to be sustainable, it’s got to be targeted to those that need it the most…,” Profitt said. “We do assume moderate growth over the next couple of years…we also assume moderate growth on the cost side as well and knowing things do tend to cost a little more over time, so making sure that we can keep that balance where revenues are on top of expenditures going forward is really key.”