In this issue …
- Mini-debate on income tax bill in House
- Budget debate Tuesday in Kansas House
Mini-debate on income tax bill in House
Representative Nile Dillmore (D-Wichita) forced a mini-debate and test vote in the Kansas House on the proposal to cut the Kansas individual income tax Monday afternoon. The impromptu drama resulted in the measure staying alive by a vote of 68 to 48, with nine representatives not voting.
The vote demonstrated that the income tax cut does not have overwhelming support. It takes 63 votes to pass a bill. The loss of only six votes would have stalled the measure.
Dillmore, the ranking Democrat on the House Taxation Committee and a member of the conference committee that has worked on the measure, asked the House to vote no on a procedural motion.
The motion was to “agree to disagree,” usually a formality when not all members of a conference committee agree on a bill. However, if the motion had been defeated, the bill would have stalled.
Dillmore gave three reasons for opposing the bill. He said it was unfair because it values the rich more than the middle class and poor. “You are so special that you don’t have to pay income tax,” Dillmore said.
He also said it was intellectually dishonest, citing a figure of $1.8 billion that would be removed from the state revenue stream over six years. Dillmore also noted the conference committee has decided to include six bills in the tax package that have not been debated in the House.
The positive vote on the motion means it only takes four signatures of the six conference committee members to advance the bill. The next step will be a debate in the Kansas Senate, widely expected to occur on Wednesday. The bill is Senate Substitute for House Bill 2117.
House will debate budget Tuesday
In the meantime, House Majority Leader Arlen Siegfreid (R-Olathe) announced the House will debate the budget Tuesday, as contained in Substitute for House Bill 2768.
That usually means a very long day on the floor, complete with amendments.