Topeka New estimates show that a sweeping tax-cut bill approved by the Kansas House would have a smaller impact on state revenues than earlier projected.
Documents prepared by legislative staff and obtained Thursday by The Associated Press put the cost of cutting income and sales taxes at nearly $334 million in the first year.
Projected over five years, the cost grows to nearly $2.2 billion. The figure includes nearly $776 million from cuts in income taxes, and $1.42 billion from abolishing the sales tax on food.
The documents also show that a separate tax-cut plan endorsed by a Senate committee would cost the state about $105 million in the first year. That plan is a modified version of proposals from Gov. Sam Brownback.
The Senate's version of Brownback's tax plan is about $15 million more expensive than what the governor proposed. Over five years, the Senate tax plan would reduce income tax collections by about $1.89 billion, offset by keeping in place an increase in the sales tax that was passed in 2010 and set to expire in 2013.
The sales tax rate would remain at the present 6.3 percent level, with 0.4 percent dedicated to transportation programs. The rate is scheduled to reduce to 5.7 percent on July 1, 2013, barring legislative action.
Meanwhile, a group of conservative House Republicans were working on a rival income tax proposal that would accelerate tax cuts for all Kansas residents. Many of those in the group complained during Wednesday's vote on the current House plan that it didn't do enough to cut rates and stimulate the economy.
"In reality, this bill is not a sprint to zero income tax but rather an apathetic, dawdling saunter," said Rep. Anthony Brown, a Republican from Eudora.
Others, like Shawnee Republican Rep. John Rubin, said they preferred to follow closer to Brownback's blueprint, noting that Oklahoma legislators were looking to cut their income tax rate in half.
The emerging conservative GOP plan is expected to be amended into a bill containing the governor's plan currently before the House Taxation Committee.