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FF12 Fact Check: Ad challenges Kansas governor’s tax policy

An ad paid for by "Get Families Back to Work" attacks the Kansas governor's actions on tax bills over the last few years. We check it out.
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 4:06 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - In November, Kansans will vote on the state’s next governor. Election ads have already begun airing for the gubernatorial race.

An ad paid for by “Get Families Back to Work,” associated with the Republican Governors Association, is making claims again Gov. Laura Kelly and her actions on tax bills over the last few years.

The first claim: “Kelly vetoed four different tax cut bills which could have put more money in your pocket.”

Kelly did veto four different tax bills and voiced her concern about the state budget at the time. The 2019 Senate Bill 22 was a large tax package Republicans pushed for following federal tax changes. With itemized deductions for state returns, business tax code changes, online sales tax and food sales tax reduction.

In her veto message, Gov. Kelly pointed to the state still recovering from the Brownback Tax Experiment, say the bill “would throw our state once again into a self-inflicted budget crisis, diminishing all the investments we’ve worked so hard to rebuild and restore.”

The second claim: “Laura Kelly even vetoed axing the food tax.”

Again, in her veto response, the governor said, “...we cannot responsibly enact a food sales tax cut until our state’s fiscal health stabilizes. This is not the time.”

The Republican Governors Association pointed to GOP leaders saying that tax code changes would bring more money to the state. But Kelly disagreed.

Later that year, Republicans tried again with a similar bill. The governor vetoed House Bill 2619 IN 2020 and Senate Bill 50 in 2021 citing similar concerns for the state’s budget at the time.

SB 50 became law last July after a veto override.

Last fall, Gov. Laura Kelly started advocating to completely eliminate the state’s food sales tax saying Kansas could afford it with the budget surplus. Last week, she signed a bill to start slowly reducing the state food sales tax starting next year. In April, she also signed a bi-partisan tax bill with cuts to property and income taxes.

“Governor Laura Kelly’s track record of delivering for Kansans speaks for itself,” said Shelbi Dantic, Laura Kelly campaign manager. “Her ability to put politics aside to cut costs for Kansans has made a measurable difference in the lives of families across our state. She’ll continue delivering on campaign promises and putting money back in Kansans’ pockets in her second term.”

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