TOPEKA — When William Allen White wrote his famous editorial “What’s the matter with Kansas?” in 1896, he complained that the state was losing people. And the state has a similar problem today.
Secretary of Revenue Nick Jordan said several counties in Kansas have seen a double-digit population decline over the last decade.
“We are fighting a century-old trend,” Jordan said.
But on Tuesday the Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee heard testimony on a bill to create rural opportunity zones and try to turn that trend around.
Under the bill, people who have lived outside the state for at least five years, without receiving income in the state, would be able to receive income tax credit for five years if they moved into a zone. Kansas residents who studied at out-of-state colleges or universities also could receive assistance with paying off student loans by moving to one of the zones.
The bill was proposed by the Department of Revenue as part of Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s economic growth strategy.
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