Chamber to Lawmakers: Let Kansans Keep Federal Tax Cuts

Topeka, KAN., (April 26, 2018) – The Kansas Chamber called on state lawmakers Thursday to let Kansans keep their federal tax cuts and to avoid secretly increasing state taxes.

The impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on our country and state’s economies has been tremendous. Hundreds of businesses have invested millions of dollars in their facilities, employees and communities – including many here in Kansas,” said Alan Cobb, the Chamber’s President and CEO. “However, the tax reform debate now has shifted from Washington, D.C., to the states. Kansans, individuals and businesses, are set to face a tax increase of more than $100 million if state lawmakers fail to address the impact of federal tax cuts on the state’s tax code during the 2018 Veto Session. The majority of this increase will be on individual taxpayers in our state.”

Many states conform to at least some provisions from the federal tax code to simplify the tax process for taxpayers. States like Kansas that are “rolling conformity” states essentially adopt the federal tax code. Some of the “pay-fors” in the federal tax changes focus on foreign income earned by businesses, something Kansas has never taxed. Kansas needs to decouple from these provisions.

For individual taxpayers, current state law only allows them to itemize on the state level if they do so at the federal level. With the federal government significantly increasing the standard deduction (now $24,000 married filing jointly), it is estimated only 5% of Kansas taxpayers will itemize. The federal tax cuts also eliminated or adjusted a number of deductions that affect Kansas tax code.

Because Kansas is a “rolling conformity” state, these federal changes will result in a higher state tax burden for many Kansans unless the Kansas Legislature acts this year.

Cobb said Kansans should contact state lawmakers and urge them to pass reforms so all Kansans are protected from unexpected state tax increases because of federal tax policy changes.

“It is important lawmakers hear directly from individuals and businesses about how they will be impacted if Kansas fails to act,” Cobb said.

Kansans can go to to contact their state lawmakers.


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