Four of six members of Kansas’ congressional delegation endorsed Wednesday an overhaul of the federal tax code developed by House and Senate Republican leaders and President Donald Trump.
U.S. Reps. Lynn Jenkins, Roger Marshall and Ron Estes and U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts threw their weight behind legislation that would cut the corporate income tax rate and the upper individual income tax rate. The measure would drop the corporate rate from 35 percent to 20 percent, while the top individual rate would fall from 39 percent to 35 percent.
“There is widespread, bipartisan agreement on the need for tax reform,” Roberts said. “We ought to put aside partisan obstructionism and take action on something in which a majority of Americans agree.”
None of the four members’ statements on the tax legislation pointed to potential expansion of the federal deficit over the next decade.
The proposed GOP tax package would nearly double the standard deduction for individuals and allow multinational companies to repatriate profits held offshore by paying a discounted income tax rate. The plan would drop the estate tax applicable to people with assets of more than $5.49 million.
Justin Carroll, a financial economist at the Kansas Department of Revenue, said the federal tax proposal was in such flux it would be difficult to precisely determine the impact on Kansans.
“What we’re saying is, unfortunately, the proposal that’s out now doesn’t give enough information for us to reasonably determine what it means for Kansans,” said Michael Austin, an economist with the revenue department.
State officials said changes to standard deductions on a federal level wouldn’t have a state impact, because the starting point of the Kansas tax return is federal adjusted gross income. That amount is determined before federal deductions or itemization changes are factored in. At least four out of five Kansas tax filers take the standard deduction, the agency said.