Kansas legislature passes Republican tax plan

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas legislators have given final approval to plan for raising new revenues to prevent future budget shortfalls even as the state further reduces income tax rates.

The House approved the measure early Sunday on a 69-45 vote, shortly after the Senate passed it, 24-13.

The plan emerged Saturday from private negotiations between GOP Gov. Sam Brownback and Republican legislative leaders.

The bill goes next to Brownback. He praised it as "a fabulous package" during a news conference.

The measure would set the state's sales tax at 6.15 percent in July. The tax is now 6.3 percent but is scheduled by law to drop to 5.7 percent, also in July.

The bill follows up on massive personal income tax cuts enacted last year with additional cuts in income tax rates.

Ivan Mattsson, who was shopping at a HyVee in Prairie Village on Monday, said the taxes weren't so high they would force him to cut down his food budget.

"Taxes are important because we need to invest in infrastructure and roads and things like that," he said.

But Debbie Sanders disagreed. She said the tax rate she pays is always too high.

"It's the grocery store, it's just everything, and it never ends," she said. "You don't think there's a stop to it."

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Amy Hawley contributed to this report.

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