Topeka Key lawmakers Tuesday leaned against legislation that would give Huhtamaki Americas additional tax incentives to try to lure a multimillion-dollar expansion to De Soto.
The Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing on SB 634, which would allow Huhtamaki, a packaging plant, to receive a $1.2 million refundable state tax credit annually for five years, for a total of $6 million.
De Soto Mayor David Anderson said expansion of Huhtamaki would help the city increase its tax base and pay for needed improvements.
"This bill will create the type of atmosphere where good corporate citizens already in our state, and who are already producing goods and services and providing good paying jobs, bring new technology to Kansas," Anderson said.
Under the agreement, the company would have to make a minimum investment of $50 million and increase the work force by 100 people, Anderson said.
But state Sen. Karin Brownlee, R-Olathe, and co-chairwoman of the Senate Commerce Committee, said the bill "would be a huge sea change in state policy. We don't do refundability of tax credits at this time."
Kansas Department of Commerce Secretary David Kerr said the state wants to lure more businesses but "we ought to address it from a global perspective instead of an individual company perspective."
Brownlee said lawmakers are working on a more comprehensive bill - SB 497 - that would repeal several tax credits and replace them with new incentives.