Kansas governor vetoes property tax bill, 2 other measures

photo by: Associated Press

In this photo from Wednesday, May 6, 2020, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly answers questions about the coronavirus pandemic during a news conference at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly has vetoed a property tax bill and two other measures approved by the Republican-controlled Kansas Legislature.

Kelly said in a statement Monday that each of the bills could create financial problems for state and local governments when they’re stressed because of economic woes caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Republicans described one bill that Kelly vetoed as a tax transparency measure. It could require city and county commissions to have public hearings and take a specific vote if they planned to spend increases in property tax revenues, starting in 2021.

Kelly said the measure could deny local governments funds needed to handle the coronavirus pandemic. The Kansas Chamber of Commerce said she had chosen “big government over Kansan taxpayers.”

Another bill Kelly vetoed set up a $60 million program to make low-interest loans to businesses and farmers. But Kelly noted that it also created a tax credit for banks at a time when the state faces revenue shortfalls.

Kelly said the third bill she vetoed was “well-intentioned” in creating a report card on the state’s foster care system but could cost the state millions of extra dollars.

Legislators ended their annual session May 21 and cannot override her vetoes.


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