Kansas plan for $1B-plus in breaks for project nears passage

February 9, 2022 GMT

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas lawmakers are close to authorizing more than $1 billion in state incentives in hopes of attracting an undisclosed, $4 billion project from an unnamed company.

The Republican-controlled House voted 80-41 on Tuesday to approve a bill that would set up a new program within the state Department of Commerce to offer such a big package of incentives to a single company this year and another firm again in 2023. The GOP-controlled Senate expects to vote on the measure Wednesday, and its approval would send it to Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly.

The bill also would cut the state’s corporate income tax by a half-percentage point with each deal.

Kelly pushed for a new incentives program in hopes of luring the $4 billion project to Kansas. Officials have said Kansas is competing with another state and that the company expects to make a decision on the site for its project within three weeks.

Lawmakers in both parties remained frustrated that details about the company or its proposed project haven’t been disclosed publicly.

Kelly’s version of the measure would have allowed more incentives over a shorter period of time. Republicans rewrote the bill to make it less generous, spread out the incentives over a longer time and require legislative leaders to sign off on a deal.