As the debate in the Kansas Statehouse continues over how to pay for tax cuts, a new report shows Kansans claim the home mortgage tax deduction at a slightly lower rate than the national average.
An analysis of 2010 federal tax data commissioned by the nonpartisan Pew Charitable Trusts shows 24 percent of Kansans claimed the home mortgage tax deduction. The national average is 25.5 percent.
But in parts of the Wichita area, the deduction is much more widely used. For example, in the 67230 zip code in east Wichita, 53.8 percent of tax filers claimed the home mortgage interest deduction, and in the 67205 zip code of northwest Wichita, 51 percent of tax filers claimed it.
Similarly high rates are found in other urban areas, including the Kansas City and Johnson County area.
The report comes as lawmakers in Topeka debate plans to reduce income taxes and replace some of the lost revenue by lowering the value of tax deductions.
Republican Gov. Sam Brownback had proposed eliminating the home mortgage interest deduction entirely, but the Kansas Association of Realtors and many lawmakers organized against the idea, and it was stripped from tax-cutting proposals.
The average value of that deduction per tax filer in Kansas was $1,890, according to the Pew analysis. Nationally, the average was $2,713.