TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly has vetoed a tax relief plan from the Republican-controlled Kansas Legislature for the second time in two months.
Kelly’s action Friday is likely to lead to an effort by GOP lawmakers to override her veto on May 29, their last day in session this year.
She said the measure would “decimate” the state budget.
The bill was designed to provide relief to individuals and businesses that have been paying more in state income taxes because of changes in federal tax laws at the end of 2017.
It would save taxpayers roughly $90 million during the budget year beginning in July and about $240 million over three years. It was less than half the size of a GOP tax relief plan that Kelly vetoed in late March.
The following message is from Governor Laura Kelly regarding her veto of HB 2033:
I have a long record of supporting responsible, commonsense tax policy. Unfortunately, that is not what House Bill 2033 represents. It will decimate the state’s ability to pay our bills and invest in our people. Just as Kansas begins to stabilize after years of senseless fiscal crisis, House Bill 2033 will create a $1 billion deficit within three years.
As governor, one of my top priorities is to lower our state’s unacceptably high tax on food. We must first provide relief for those who need it most and then ultimately for all Kansans. We need stability so our tax code can offer certainty to businesses and families. This all must go hand-in-hand with rebuilding our state’s rainy-day fund, so we can weather economic downturns without putting our schools and children at risk. Kansas is also long overdue for a thorough, nonpartisan study of how we can ensure our tax code is fair and truly incentivizes economic growth – in urban and rural communities alike. Our state has not conducted such a study since 1995.
Kansans deserve a plan. Successful tax reform must be shaped by a thoughtful, big-picture vision – not by a rushed attempt to achieve an immediate political victory. To that end, my administration recently began outlining a plan to help build this vision, which I look forward to sharing in the weeks to come.
Pro-business, pro-growth, pro-family tax policy can absolutely reshape Kansas for the better, but only if it fixes the failures of the past, not repeats them. I was elected to rebuild our state; House Bill 2033 is not the way to do it.
Therefore, under Article 2, Section 14(a) of the Kansas Constitution, I hereby veto House Bill 2033.