(AP) The top Democrat in the Kansas House says that if the state is going to cut taxes, it ought to focus on reducing property taxes.
House Minority Leader Paul Davis, of Lawrence, gave his party's response Wednesday night to Gov. Sam Brownback's State of the State address. The Republican governor outlined a sweeping tax plan that focuses on cuts in individual income tax rates.
Davis said property taxes have increased 65 percent in the past decades. Democratic legislators already have outlined a proposal to dedicate part of the future growth in state revenues to property tax relief.
Democrats also would use part of future revenue growth to boost to aid to public schools. Davis said past cuts in education funding should be reversed.
Some of Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback's fellow Republicans have reacted favorably to his plan for overhauling the state's individual income tax code.
The chairmen of the House and Senate tax committees said Wednesday evening that they liked the details Brownback provided in his State of the State address.
Senate Chairman Les Donovan, of Wichita, called Brownback's proposal a "giant step forward" in making the state tax code simpler and more fair.
The plan collapses three individual income tax brackets into two, cuts the tax rates and eliminates certain credits and deductions - even popular ones like a break for home mortgage interest. House chairman Richard Carlson, of St. Marys, said the state needs to stimulate economic growth and Brownback's approach will do it.