- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 14, 2017

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A Kansas Senate committee has advanced a budget-balancing proposal from Democrats to raise $1.2 billion over two years by increasing income taxes.

The Assessment and Taxation Committee on Tuesday forwarded a bill to the Senate that contains the plan. But the Republican-controlled panel specifically did not endorse the measure in its voice vote.

Majority Leader and Overland Park Republican Jim Denning said the Senate would debate tax issues Thursday.

The bill ends an income tax exemption for more than 330,000 farmers and business owners and restores a third tax bracket eliminated in 2012. It sets the top rate at 6.45 percent instead of the current 4.6 percent.

The committee refused to advance a plan from Republican Gov. Sam Brownback to boost cigarette and liquor taxes and business filing fees.

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