The Kansas House of Representatives has approved legislation that would make numerous changes to corporate and personal income taxes, expand the Rural Opportunity Zone (ROZ) program, and eliminate the sales tax on grocery food purchases.
If enacted, the legislation as currently drafted would provide for formulaic income tax rate reductions and eventual repeal, beginning in tax year 2013. The reductions, which would be based on the extent to which a certain specified group of general fund tax sources have increased over the previous fiscal year, would begin with the personal income tax. After the personal income tax is completely repealed, the rate rollback provisions would be applied to the corporation income tax surtax. When the corporation surtax is repealed, adjustments would begin to the corporation base rate and to financial institution privilege tax rates.
Additionally, if enacted, the bill would add an additional 24 counties to the Rural Opportunity Zone (ROZ) program, which effectively provides an income tax exemption for certain out-of-state taxpayers who relocate to those counties. Under the approved legislation, the standard deduction for head-of-household filers would be increased from the current level of $4,500 to $9,000 beginning in tax year 2014 and the state earned income tax credit (EITC) would be reduced to 9% of the federal EITC, beginning in tax year 2014. Currently, the Kansas EITC is set at 18% and is scheduled to be reduced to 17% in tax year 2013.
Finally, the legislation, if enacted as currently drafted, would also exempt sales of “food and food ingredients” from sales tax, effective July 1, 2012. The legislation would also allow cities, counties, or other local taxing subdivisions of the state with sales tax authority to opt out of the grocery food exemption by means of an ordinance or resolution.
House Substitute S.B. 177, as passed by the Kansas House of Representatives on March 14, 2012; Supplemental Note on House Substitute for Senate Bill 177, Kansas Legislative Research Department