03 May 2021 | Tax and Budget

RELEASE: Kansas will face consequences from tax bill

May 3, 2021

TOPEKA, Kansas – Kansas Action for Children's Director of Fiscal Policy Emily Fetsch released the following statement after the Legislature overrode the veto of SB 50:

"There’s no way to sugarcoat what the Kansas Legislature did today in voting to override Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto of Senate Bill 50. A two-thirds majority of lawmakers in both houses decided to support tax breaks for high-income Kansans and the well-connected over investment in our state’s foundations.

"This will have consequences for the future of Kansas.

"Senate Bill 50 will reduce revenue by nearly $300 million over the next three years. That’s hundreds of millions of dollars that won’t be available for our state’s schools, health care system, or family support programs. That’s hundreds of millions of dollars that won’t be strengthening our state as we rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Over this session, the Legislature could have pushed forward proposals to make the food sales tax credit refundable, which would have helped low-income Kansans put food on their tables. Lawmakers could have considered reinstating the Homestead Property Tax Credit to renters, during a year when many Kansans have faced housing insecurity. The House and Senate could have considered tax policies that were equitable, responsible, and would have helped our state thrive. But instead, they passed a bill that does little for the average working Kansan, while offering yet another tax break to those at the top.

"There are silver linings. This bill is less costly than SB 22, which came up earlier this session and cost hundreds of millions of dollars more. It also includes the marketplace facilitator provision, a way to collect some additional revenue, although not enough to cover the full cost of the bill. It still doesn’t do enough to level the playing field between Kansas businesses and their out-of-state competitors.

"We thank those legislators in the House and Senate who took a challenging vote and stood up for commonsense fiscal policy today. KAC stands ready to assist every policymaker for the rest of this session and in the years to come. When our state needs to balance the budget, as we will, KAC will offer responsible suggestions. When policymakers require accurate data on how investments in our state pay off, we’ll be there.

"Our state’s kids and families depend on good decisions from their leaders. That didn’t happen today. But we’ll keep working to make sure it happens in the future."