Republicans rebuff Democratic property tax cut plan

The legislative Democratic plan to reduce property taxes was rejected by Republicans in the House on Tuesday.

Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita, tried to amend a bill to give local governments $45 million over two years for local property tax relief. Under the proposal, Douglas County would have received $1.7 million to offset property taxes.

“We have a property tax problem in Kansas, and it’s high time we do something about it,” said House Democratic Leader Paul Davis of Lawrence.

But Republicans, who hold a significant majority in the Legislature, argued against the proposal, saying Kansas should reduce the state income tax.

Ward’s amendment failed 41-76.

Republicans on the House Taxation Committee have approved a bill that cuts income tax rates. Republicans say the proposal will attract more businesses and improve the economy.

Democrats have criticized the proposal because it would cap state budget growth at 2 percent per year, borrows $351 million from the state transportation plan and reduces a tax credit aimed at helping the working poor.