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Kansas Chamber CEO criticizes Brownback plan to modify income tax laws to help balance budget

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TOPEKA, Kansas — The Kansas Chamber of Commerce opposes Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's proposal to slow future income tax cuts to help balance the state budget.

Chamber President and CEO Mike O'Neal testified Wednesday against a bill containing the governor's proposal during a House Taxation Committee hearing. The committee took no action.

Brownback and the Republican-dominated Legislature must close a projected budget shortfall of nearly $600 million for the fiscal year beginning July 1. The state's budget problems arose after lawmakers cut income taxes in 2012 and 2013 at Brownback's urging to stimulate the economy.

O'Neal said lawmakers should look at cutting spending first. He is a former House speaker who backed the tax cuts.

Department of Revenue legislative liaison Richard Carlson said the state still would be moving to eliminate income taxes.

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