The third meeting for the bipartisan Governor’s Council on Tax Reform concluded this afternoon. The group, composed of experts, representatives and stakeholders, is performing an in-depth study of the state’s current tax system. Once their study is complete, the Council will make specific statutory recommendations to state lawmakers on tax reform in Kansas.

The one-day meeting began with a budget and consensus revenue estimates update, then moved into a public comment period. The council heard testimony from 11 interested groups and individuals, including the Kansas Association of Realtors, the Kansas Association of School Boards, the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, KC Healthy Kids and others.

In the afternoon, representatives from the Kansas Department of Revenue gave presentations on Ad Valorem Property Tax and Global Intangible Low-taxed Income (GILTI) provisions under the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act.

Dr. Donna Ginther, professor of economics at the University of Kansas, then offered a history of the three-legged stool approach in Kansas. The three-legged stool refers to a sensible balance of income, sales and property tax revenue.

Following Dr. Ginther’s presentation, Council members participated in discussion regarding their initial tax reform policy thoughts and their expectations for December’s meeting.

Among other topics discussed by the Council:

  • Three co-equal, sturdy legs of tax revenue would cushion Kansas from recessionary pressures, such as the energy recession of the late 1980s.
  • Sales tax on food costs the average rural Kansas grocer close to $18,000 per year.
  • The property tax is the largest, single source of revenue in Kansas, generating $4.93 billion in levied tax from $36.57 billion of taxable value for calendar year 2018. 

The next meeting of the Council has been set for Dec. 3-4, 2019. An interim report by the Council is planned for December 2019, in advance of the 2020 legislative session. A final report is due in December 2020, in advance of the 2021 legislative session.

For more on Governor Kelly’s executive order establishing the Council, its membership and presentation materials: