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Kansas governor unveils plan to raise sales tax, eliminate deductions to fill budget hole

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TOPEKA, Kansas — Gov. Sam Brownback is proposing a state sales tax increase and other measures to deal with the state's projected budget shortfall.

Brownback on Saturday proposed that legislators address an estimated $406 million deficit by increasing the state sales tax to 6.65 percent from 6.15 percent and eliminating most income tax deductions.

The plan also would exempt 388,000 low-income Kansans from income tax and increase cigarette taxes by 50 cents per pack. The plan would raise $23.7 million by imposing income tax on some previously exempted small business revenues.

All income deductions except the one for charitable donations would be eliminated, while mortgage and property deductions would be cut in half.

The plan is estimated to fill the budget gap and leave $81 million in reserves for the next fiscal year.

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