A bill cutting Kansas taxes by an estimated $475 million annually cleared its first major hurdle

KANSAS – The lawmakers nearly doubled its size in the process. After a tense four-hour debate, the Kansas Senate approved a package of cuts including measures to allow Kansans to benefit from 2017 tax reforms and elimination of state taxes on Social Security benefits and some pensions. 

At least four Republicans crossed party lines to vote with Democratic opponents of the bill, citing a cost they regarded as exorbitant. The package passed by a 24-15 margin.

Democrats warned that the bill could spell a return to Brownback-era tax cuts while prioritizing business interests over working families. Sen. Ethan Corson, a Democrat from Prairie Village, called it a “bullet train to Brownbackville”

The bill allows Kansas taxpayers to itemize state returns regardless of whether they did so on federal tax returns. The measure also allows multinational corporations to bring overseas profits back to Kansas without paying income tax.