Kansas Speaker Pledges to Pass Small Business Tax Reform
As part of NFIB, or the National Federation of Independent Business’ Small Business Day, NFIB members here in Kansas engaged with lawmakers about issues that will help them recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. At top of mind was passing important legislation that would lower taxes for hard working small business owners across Kansas. As small businesses focus on keeping their employees and customers safe from the pandemic, the most important thing our Kansas legislators can do is to lower the tax burden on our entrepreneurs and job creators. Our small business owners were encouraged to hear the Speaker of the House pledge to help pass important income tax and unemployment insurance reform. You can watch Kansas’ 2021 Small Business Day here.
“The key piece to the income tax bill is decoupling from the federal tax code for your individual itemizations. It allows you to have more flexibility if you take that higher federal standard deduction part of the Federal Tax Cut Jobs Act. However, Unemployment insurance is the biggest issue we’re working on this session. Many of you have been impacted not only from a business standpoint but from a fraudulent claim perspective. The pain is set to come with the impending changes to tax rates if we don’t address this problem,” said Dan Murray, NFIB State Director in Kansas.
Small businesses today voiced concerns about the looming UI tax increases they face since the trust fund has given out more than $1 billion in benefits during the last 12 months. NFIB member and owner of Heartland Seating, Kathy Peterson, is frustrated with the time and money fraudulent UI claims is costing her. Recently Peterson got a notice that her husband, President of the Corporation, had filed for unemployment. At the time he was sitting just feet away from her working at his computer. You can read more about Kathy’s story here.
Since the pandemic began, Kansas has lost $600 million in unemployment insurance fraud claims. That’s because Speaker of the House, Ron Ryckman, says the system is easy to hack into. In one week earlier this year, the state received 80,000 claims. That’s the second highest in the nation only to Illinois. To compare, that same week, Missouri, a much larger state, received just 4,000 claims. A bill that would put l CARES Act money in the unemployment fund and reduce the burden on small business owners passed the House last week.
“We know running a small business in Kansas is tough enough with our tax policy and regulations. We didn’t want your unemployment rates to sometimes go up by 10 times. You’re on a path to pay more in unemployment taxes than state taxes,” said Speaker of the House, Rep. Ron Ryckman.
The Speaker also pledged to support and help pass SB 22, the income tax legislation, which would decouple the state’s income tax from the federal code. Many other surrounding states have already passed this legislation, which would give small business owners a much-earned tax break.