The second week of the 2013 Kansas legislative session saw the introduction of numerous bills and included multiple briefings from agencies to help both new and returning legislators prepare for the weeks ahead. Most notable among bills introduced last week was Gov. Sam Brownback’s new tax plan announced during his “State of the State” address. It would retain the current 6.3% sales tax rate, which currently is set to fall to 5.7% in July 2013; reduce the lower income tax bracket rate from 3% to 2.5% in 2014 and then to 1.9% by 2016; reduce the upper income tax bracket rate from 4.9% to 3.5% by 2017; use state revenue growth over 4% to lower income taxes more quickly; repeal the residential mortgage interest deduction; and repeal the deduction for residential property taxes paid the previous year.

Several other pieces of legislation of interest to KLA members have been introduced.

State E-verify - SB 48 would require state and local governments to use E-verify and force contractors who bid on state or local government contracts of $50,000 or more to use the program.

Ag user fees - HB 2049 would remove the sunset on dairy fees and water permit fees. Under the bill, the fees would be permanently set at current rates.

Water rights - HB 2050 would create a limited-use transfer permit from a base water right, increase the size of a dam that would be subject to a safety permit from the Division of Water Resources and allow the holder of a multi-year flex account to use unused water in a subsequent multi-year flex account enrollment.

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