TOPEKA (KSNT) – House Democrats are refreshing their efforts to grant Kansas homeowners relief on their property taxes.

Democratic lawmakers announced the original property tax reduction package in September of 2022, with the housing market being at what House Democratic leader Vic Miller called a ‘critical’ point.

“It was a problem then, it’s a worse problem now because we’ve had an additional year where valuations have jumped again,” Miller said in a press conference Tuesday.

Tuesday’s announcement to refresh the tax relief package is meant to revamp the package that has already been proposed.

With the new proposals taken into account, the three-part package would include:

  • Replenishing the Local Ad Valorem Tax Reduction Fund. The new proposal funds it at the statutorily-required 3.63% of state sales and use taxes, putting it at $130 million dollars. That’s a $26 million increase from last year’s plan and will direct the relief straight to Kansas homeowners.
  • Raising the exemption on Kansas’ 20 mill school levy from $42,000 to $100,000. Last year’s proposal was to raise it to $65,000, but raising it to $100,000 would create $110 million in relief for homeowners each year.
  • Letting Kansans vote to reduce the assessment rate on residential properties from 11.5% to 9% over a five-year period. This would create $300 million in yearly residential tax reduction if it goes through.

“They are directed at the problem that so many people are identifying as their number one issue in Kansas,” Miller said of the relief plan. ” I’ll debate anybody anywhere on whether they want income tax relief or property tax relief. Bottom line is everybody wants both, but I can tell you where the priority is.” 

Under the property tax relief package, House Democrats say Kansas homeowners will see an average reduction of 16% on their property tax bills. This will amount to over $500 million in annual relief for homeowners across the state.

Earlier in the day, House Republicans also released a statement on advocating for a ‘long-term’ tax relief package next year, amid updated consensus revenue estimates released November 9.

According to the Division of the Budget and Kansas Legislative Research Department, for FY 2024, the estimate was decreased by $67.7 million, or 0.7 percent, below the previous estimate (made in April and subsequently adjusted for legislation enacted during the veto
session). The estimate for total taxes was decreased by $65.0 million, while the estimate for other
revenues was decreased by $2.7 million. The revised estimate of $10.284 billion represents an
10.8 increase above final FY 2023 receipts.

The initial estimate for FY 2025 is $10.257 billion, which is $26.2 million, or 0.3 percent,
below the newly revised FY 2024 figure. The Division states that the amount of total taxes is estimated to decrease by 0.6 percent in FY 2025, following a 0.3 percent increase in FY 2024.

Speaker Dan Hawkins (R-Wichita), Majority Leader Chris Croft (R-Overland
Park), Speaker Pro Tempore Blake Carpenter (R-Derby), and Representative Adam Smith,
Chairman of the House Committee on Taxation (R-Weskan) issued a joint statement Tuesday morning.

“Looking ahead to the 2024 legislative session, House Republicans are laser-focused on what
Kansans tell us they need and want most- comprehensive and sustainable tax relief that
benefits every Kansan at all income levels. Revenue estimates reaffirm what we’ve known for a while- the state continues to bring in a lot more money than it needs and it’s past time for this hard-earned taxpayer money to go back to Kansans in the form of long-term, actual tax relief that folks can rely on long into their futures.

Kansans can’t pay their bills due to inflation. “Free government stimulus” money is exactly what
caused this inflation in the first place so Governor Kelly might need a lesson in basic
economics- long-term tax relief will help Kansas families and the Kansas economy more than a
one-time gimmick.

The state of Kansas needs to provide all Kansans broad tax relief, but we must be diligent to
pair sustainable tax cuts with a responsible budget to ensure the state and local units of
government remain in good standing for years to come. House budget and taxation committees
have been working tirelessly to craft a beneficial, long-term tax relief plan that also places
significant priority on the long-term well-being of state finances and that’s exactly what
Republicans will deliver next year.”

Speaker Dan Hawkins (R-Wichita), Majority Leader Chris Croft (R-Overland
Park), Speaker Pro Tempore Blake Carpenter (R-Derby), and Representative Adam Smith,
Chairman of the House Committee on Taxation (R-Weskan)