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Lobbying to Lower Kansas Surplus Lines Tax Rate

Legislative committee assignments have been made and we need your help to establish and nurture any relationships you have with legislators, especially those individuals that serve on the insurance committees of each respective chamber. We highly encourage you to reach out to any of the committee members you may know, or to take an opportunity to introduce yourself to a committee member(s) and start a relationship. Your relationships with our elected officials are the backbone of our advocacy efforts.

Inauguration day was Monday, January 9, and both the Kansas House and the Kansas Senate convened for the 2023 legislative session the same day as well. The 2023 session will be a somewhat active one for KAIA, as we are working closely with Senate & House Leadership to introduce a bill to decrease the Kansas surplus lines tax (more on that down below!).

As we head into the session, I want to thank the members of our Government Affairs committee who volunteer their time to help us craft the KAIA agenda as well as our positions on the legislative agendas of other stakeholders in our industry. Headed by Brock Elliott, this committee was instrumental in directing contributions to various races last year and continues to help lead our efforts. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Brock.

The biggest changes for the 2023 session will be in the House, as all 125 members stood for re-election. The House held its leadership elections in December and House Leadership is as follows:

Speaker of the House – Dan Hawkins, R-Wichita; Majority Leader – Chris Croft, R-Overland Park; Minority Leader – Vic Miller, D-Topeka; Speaker Pro-Tem – Blake Carpenter, R-Derby; and Assistant Minority Leader – Valdenia Winn, D-Kansas City.

The House Insurance Committee members are Bill Sutton, R-Gardner (Chair); Patrick Penn, R-Wichita (Vice Chair); Cindy Neighbor, D-Shawnee (Ranking Minority Member); Tory Blew, R-Great Bend; Emil Bergquist, R-Park City; Ken Collins, R-Mulberry; Mike Dodson, R-Manhattan; Robyn Essex, R-Olathe; Leah Howell, R-Derby; Kirk Haskins, D-Topeka; Cyndi Howerton, R-Wichita; Heather Meyer, D-Overland Park; Silas Miller, D-Wichita; Pat Proctor, R-Leavenworth; Sean Tarwater, R-Stilwell; Brandon Woodard, D-Lenexa; and Jeff Underhill, R-Junction City. Full information on the House Insurance Committee can be found here.

The Senate Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee remains relatively unchanged and continues to be chaired by Jeff Longbine, R-Emporia. The Senate committee list can be found here. Richard Hilderbrand, R-Baxter Springs was on this committee and he resigned his seat last week so he will no longer sit on the committee.

KAIA has been working closely with leadership and will be helping to advance a bill that would lower the Kansas surplus lines tax rate from 6% to 3%. The 6% rate is tied for the highest in the nation and there seems to be no sound business reason for the high rate. We have talked to many other stakeholders in our industry and are hopeful about the bill’s success, however, we are always cautious of what unknown opponents may be out there! The bill should be introduced early in the session so stay tuned for updates. If you would like to submit written testimony or give oral testimony on this bill, please let me know! We’re happy to help you prepare testimony, especially as it relates to an issue that affects so many Kansas businesses.

We are happy to share additional information with you about our surplus lines tax bill or answer any legislative-related questions you may have. We anticipate a busy session and I know we’ll need your help.

If you have any questions, please contact Beth Smoller.

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