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Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has announced the calling of a special legislative session on tax cuts, beginning on June 18th. This move follows the vetoing of three Republican plans to cut taxes by the Democratic governor earlier this year. Governor Kelly has expressed her commitment to working with the Legislature to deliver responsible and sustainable tax cuts for all Kansans. She believes that a bipartisan collaboration is necessary to reach a compromise that will benefit the residents of the state without jeopardizing its fiscal stability.

Lawmakers had previously sent Governor Kelly a proposal to cut income, sales, and property taxes by a total of $1.45 billion over three years. However, she vetoed the measure after the Legislature adjourned, preventing an override attempt. While both Governor Kelly and Republican leaders agree on certain aspects of the tax cuts, such as eliminating state income taxes on retirees’ Social Security benefits above $75,000 a year, they have differing opinions on other components of the bill. A significant portion of the cuts in the latest bill were related to changes in the personal income tax, with the state’s highest tax rate proposed to be reduced from 5.7% to 5.57%.

Republican leaders have expressed frustration as they feel they have made significant concessions in the negotiations. They have given up on their goal of transitioning Kansas from three personal income tax rates to one. The upcoming special session on tax cuts is expected to be a high-stakes battle between Governor Kelly and the GOP-controlled Kansas Legislature, especially since all Senate and House seats are up for election this year. Democrats hope to break the Republican supermajorities in both chambers and are pushing for broad tax relief measures to be implemented, citing the accumulation of surplus funds in the state’s coffers.

The decision to hold a special legislative session on tax cuts reflects the urgency felt by both parties to address the issue before the upcoming elections. Governor Kelly’s emphasis on bipartisan collaboration and responsible tax relief showcases her commitment to finding a compromise that will benefit all Kansans. Republican leaders, on the other hand, are keen on implementing tax cuts that they believe will stimulate the state’s economy and address the concerns of voters. The special session is expected to be a critical juncture in determining the future tax policies of Kansas and will likely have far-reaching implications for the state’s fiscal health and political landscape.

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