LEGISLATIVE UPDATE:   Update on 'fair tax' proposal

Representative, 74th District

The Senate recently confirmed several people including Jackie McClaskey as the Secretary of Agriculture. Secretary McClaskey has been the acting Secretary since Dale Rodman resigned in November. She has been the caretaker as the Department of Agriculture is planning to move the bulk of its operations to Manhattan.

Yesterday we heard a bill that would create a fund that could be used for resolving many water issues, including things like stream bank stabilization, reservoir dredging, or even to purchase additional water storage in reservoirs from the Corps of Engineers.

I talked about the “Fair Tax” last week and finally have HB 2625 to read. My article last week was based on older information, so here are some corrections: the bill has the tax rate at 5.7 percent. As the bill reads, property taxes would mostly remain in place and most goods and services would be taxed. I did not see a medical exemption in the bill but need to read it closer to know for certain.

Persons below poverty would receive a monthly “prebate” according to a formula in section 8(a) of the bill. Since the state income tax goes away, there would be no Homestead credit and it appears taxes on groceries would remain. If I am incorrect on something, I’m sure I will hear back. Look up HB 2625 on the Kansas Legislature website to find out more.

What a consumption tax basically means is that the final point of sale is taxed. The bill is 36 pages long and there are many other provisions, but these are the high points for individuals as I read them. I did not see in the bill if local governments are allowed to impose a local sales or consumption tax above the 5.7 percent rate and do not know how local sales taxes now in place would be affected by this proposal.

Some weeks are emotionally difficult as any issue may be debated in the legislature. Directly putting discrimination against religious liberties is very difficult as both issues deserve respect. Legislators were not sent to Topeka to make easy decisions, but a good system of checks and balances helps even things out.

 

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