Some small business owners, farmers aren’t against paying income taxes

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Kansas House of Representatives voted Wednesday morning, 85-40, to override Governor Sam Brownback’s veto on a tax bill that passed through the legislature last week.

However, late Wednesday afternoon, the Senate fell just three votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to complete the override.

The bipartisan bill would’ve raised more than $1 billion over two years to help get the state get out of the red.

It also would have raised income taxes and ended tax exemptions to more than 330,000 small businesses and farmers.

Brian Wetta is a farmer who lives just south of Andale.

He entered into a LLC agreement with his uncle, when he took over his farm, before Governor Brownback had implemented the 2012 tax breaks.

“At the time, I thought well, maybe it’s a good idea, maybe it would give a jump-start to the economy you know giving us a tax cut,” said Wetta.

However, Wetta says, he feels that tax cut has left Kansas in quite a predicament when it comes to balancing the state’s budget.

“I feel like it’s time to reinstate the income tax, I think I should pay my fair share of income tax just the same as any citizen in the state,” said Wetta.

Jack Kellogg is the owner of Hatman Jacks in Wichita.

Kellogg says he formed a LLC more than two years ago to take advantage of the tax exemption.

However, Kellogg feels that exemption just hasn’t panned out.

“I love cutting taxes, but basic services are basic services, and I for one am certainly willing to pay,” said Kellogg.

Kellogg and Wetta both agree, the legislature needs to continue to look into removing the tax exemption for 330,000 Kansas farmers and business owners.

“We need to revisit taxes, so that we can continue and not shirk our responsibilities to continue basic services,” said Kellogg.

“Income tax is a logical step to increase revenue for the state, so to reinstate the tax exemptions for LLC’s is a good step,” added Wetta.

Governor Brownback continues to be in support of keeping the tax exemptions in place.

Brownback said this tax bill would have hurt the growth in the state and that this would have been a bad policy for Kansas.

He has also had support from the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, the group he spoke to Tuesday night, when he announced his veto of this bill.


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