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Archive for Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Tax break in play

January 10, 2006

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Property taxes on new business machinery and equipment could be lifted as soon as next year under a proposal to be introduced this week in the Kansas Legislature.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius supports the idea, and Republican leaders like the tax break's chances.

"If you're going to cut taxes, you want to : make them selectively to help keep the economy rolling," House Speaker Doug Mays, R-Topeka, said. "Machinery and equipment is close to a done deal."

A bill is expected to be introduced this week that would eliminate the tax on machinery and equipment bought or leased after Jan. 1, 2007. The measure also could include a timeline for phasing out the tax entirely on existing equipment.

"It will encourage Kansas companies to invest in new technology to better compete around the world, and it will ensure our economy will continue to provide good jobs for Kansas workers," Sebelius said in her State of the State address Monday night.

But Craig Weinaug, Douglas County administrator, warned that cutting one tax on businesses could mean difficult decisions for local governments, which already have cut services.

"It redistributes the tax from machinery to real estate, and it redistributes the tax load from businesses to residents, unfortunately," Weinaug said. "They need to be honest with the fact that there are winners and losers in this."

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