GOP lawmakers pursue revision
of Kansas business break,
despite Brownback stance

By John Hanna
The Associated Press

Top Republican legislators in Kansas appear increasingly ready to reconsider a business tax break that’s been a cherished economic policy for GOP Gov. Sam Brownback, possibly making it more difficult to close a projected budget shortfall.

Brownback is clear that he wants to preserve an exemption from personal income taxes for 281,000 business owners and 53,000 farmers. He calls the policy, enacted in 2012 as part of a larger package of income tax cuts, the “small business accelerator” and describes it as a catalyst for job growth.

But Republican allies who championed the same tax break three years ago said the GOP-dominated Legislature will seriously consider narrowing it as a budget-balancing move. Several suggested the exemption was broader than they’d intended and raised the same questions about whether the policy is fair to working-class families that Democrats have long asked.

GOP legislators involved in drafting budget and tax proposals acknowledged that they’ll have to push Brownback into accepting changes.

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