An effort led by Senate Democrats to reverse much of Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax policy failed Thursday afternoon.
The Kansas Senate, on a 30-10 vote, rejected the bill that would have raised taxes and ended an exemption.
But the fight over taxes in Kansas is far from over. The Senate is expected to talk about a tax bill Friday that has already passed the House.
Sen. Tom Holland, a Baldwin City Democrat who brought forth the bill Thursday afternoon, said the Senate plan was the best structural fix for the state’s budget issues.
The state is facing more than $1 billion in shortfalls through the end of fiscal year 2019.
“Our constituents want us to right the fiscal ship now, and today we begin that heavy lifting,” Holland said before the Democrats’ Senate bill failed.
The Democrats’ tax plan would have brought in more than $1.2 billion over the next two fiscal years.
But only one Republican, Sen. Randall Hardy of Salina, joined Democrats to vote for the bill.
The bill passed by the House makes different changes to income tax rates and raises a little over $1 billion over a two-year span.
The Senate legislation that failed Thursday would have brought back a third tax bracket of 6.45 percent. That would have covered single filers who made more than $35,000 and married joint fliers who made more than $70,000.
It also would have ended a tax exemption for roughly 330,000 business owners.
Sen. Dinah Sykes, a Lenexa Republican, said though she didn’t vote for the Democrats’ tax plan on Thursday, she planned to vote for the House measure when it comes to the Senate floor.
“There’s a better chance of the House bill going through,” Sykes said about her vote Thursday afternoon.
Senate President Susan Wagle, a Wichita Republican, said in a statement that the Senate bill went too far.
“While the tax bill debated today in the Senate included some provisions that I’d like to see incorporated in a final tax plan, it reached far too deep into hardworking Kansans’ pockets,” Wagle said. “We must approach our budget holistically — meaning, reducing state spending and avoiding a retroactive income tax increase on Kansans.”