Revenue secretary headed to western Kansas to hear views on overhauling state tax code

Gov. Sam Brownback’s point man on overhauling the Kansas tax code is headed out to western Kansas on a listening tour about tax policy, officials announced Monday.

Kansas Department of Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan will hold meetings in Great Bend, Garden City and Colby Tuesday, and Hays and Salina on Wednesday.

The meetings have been arranged with the help of the Kansas Farm Bureau and Kansas Rural Economic Development Alliance, the Revenue Department reported.

“This is part of our ongoing effort as part of the Brownback Road Map for Kansas to gather input on tax policy and economic growth from a wide array of Kansans,” Jordan said.

Brownback, a Republican, has said he wants to cut the state income tax as a way to spur economic growth. Brownback’s administration has been working behind closed doors on a plan that will be unveiled sometime in November and forwarded to the Legislature for consideration.

Asked why Jordan was not traveling to other areas on the listening tour, his spokeswoman Jeannine Koranda said Jordan has been in other areas of the state and received input on tax issues. He has yet to travel to western Kansas as revenue secretary, she said.

Meanwhile, a group headed by former Kansas Republican Party officials who helped elect Brownback, are embarking on a short bus tour to advocate for eliminating the state income tax.

The Kansans for No Income Tax bus tour will start on Friday in Topeka and travel to Leavenworth and then Lenexa. On Saturday, the bus will hit Pittsburg and Wichita.

“The elimination of the state’s income tax gives wage earners an immediate pay raise and encourages economic growth in our state,” said Ashley McMillan, president of Kansans for No Income Tax and former executive director of the Kansas GOP.

But Kansas Democrats say cutting income taxes will result in either cuts in services or forcing local governments to increase sales and property taxes to pay for services.

By Scott Rothschild

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