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Thursday, February 14, 2008


By a 145-0 vote, the House of Representatives on Feb. 12 passed a bill to undo a tax hike imposed last year on residents of Kansas who work in Missouri. Sponsored by House Minority Leader Paul LeVota, D-Independence, the bill seeks to head off retaliatory action by the Kansas Legislature.

A bill Gov. Matt Blunt signed into law last year included a provision added by the Senate that ended the practice of allowing people who live in others states but work in Missouri to deduct their home-state property taxes from their Missouri income taxes. This primarily was done to retaliate against Illinois, which doesn't extend the same courtesy to Missourians who work in that state. The impact on Kansans wasn't known until lawmakers there complained.

LeVota's bill, HB 1661, would restore the Missouri tax deduction for out-of-state residents so long as their home state provides reciprocity to Missourians. Blunt initially opposed taking corrective action but eventually relented after intense criticism and threats of retaliation by Kansas lawmakers and now supports LeVota's bill, which heads to the Senate for further consideration.

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