Overland Park Chamber opposes lowering Kansas income tax rate - KCTV5

Overland Park Chamber opposes lowering Kansas income tax rate

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The Kansas Legislature is considering lowering the state income tax while scrapping plans to lower the state sales tax rate.

The Overland Park Chamber of Commerce opposes lowering the income tax rate. But the group wants the sales tax rate of 6.3 percent lowered by a percentage point.

The chamber supported a percentage increase in 2010 during the economic recession. The chamber's support was contingent upon the plan for the sales tax increase to lapse this year.

Chamber leaders say this is needed for small businesses.

Tracey Osborne, president of the chamber, said cutting income taxes would endanger the state's higher education system, public schools and transportation infrastructure.

"This is vital to business production and expansion in the state of Kansas," Osborne said.

She believes Kansas' current system of income, sales and property taxes is best for economic development, and lowering the income tax won't boost economic growth while reducing spending in key areas. 

"When we're talking to a business thinking of expanding or recruiting a business from out of state, they don't talk to us about tax structure first. It's usually fourth or fifth on the list," she said. "A three-legged stool of income, property and sales taxes should be maintained in Kansas. It's worked well for a long time."

Shop owners say the higher sales tax will hurt retail sales. They say they and their customers want their taxes used for education and teacher salaries and infrastructure.

A Senate committee will debate the issue Friday.

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