Good for Rep. Mark Hutton, R-Wichita, for trying to tackle two state problems: an unfair income tax policy and a high sales tax rate on food purchases. Hutton has proposed removing the income tax exemption for the owners of limited liability companies and other pass-through businesses and using that revenue to lower the statewide sales tax rate on food from 6.5 percent to about 2.9 percent. But as Rep. Tom Sawyer, D-Wichita, noted, the state’s income tax cuts have created such a large budget shortfall for the state that it’s likely the revenue gained by revoking the exemption (about $261 million) needs to be used, at least for the next year or two, to climb out of the fiscal hole and adequately fund public education. – Phillip Brownlee
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