TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Kansas is moving quickly to offer $1 billion or more in tax breaks and other incentives in hopes of landing what officials promise is an investment of up to $4 billion.
The economic development bill is aimed at a massive $4 billion business that could move to Kansas. The business is being kept secret for legal reasons, but it’s said to provide up to 4,000 jobs.
The Senate Commerce Committee approved the plan on Tuesday evening.
However, some lawmakers say that the bill needs work in certain areas.
Sen. Caryn Tyson, R-Parker, who sits on the Senate Commerce Committee, which is working on the bill, said she plans to introduce several amendments, which includes one that could address this issue.
“The income tax on it is refundable, meaning that the company could pay back more than they paid in,” Tyson said. “That means the state of Kansas would be writing them a check. So, we need to take a close look at this legislation. This is not something that you should try to pass quickly.”
Other lawmakers on the panel are also concerned with some of the incentives being provided to the business.
Sen. Renee Erickson, R-Wichita, who chairs the committee, said that includes property tax incentives, payroll incentives, and training and education incentives.
“There are parts of this bill that people like on both sides of the aisle and parts that they don’t like, which is the epitome of why we should have compromise across the aisle,” Sen. Erickson said.
The business is also looking at other states, so some say it’s important to move quickly, or the opportunity could be missed.
Sen. Jeff Pittman, D-Leavenworth, said it’s important that the state is competitive.
“We’ve got entities that are investing huge amounts of capital in the state of Kansas, typically from outside the state,” he said. “These megaprojects, we’re losing them. We’ve lost something, like 12 different mega projects over the last three years.”
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