Kansas income tax take effect Jan. 1

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- Sweeping changes in the Kansas tax code take effect Tuesday, when new rates for individual income taxpayers take effect.

The laws were approved by the Legislature in May and signed by GOP Gov. Sam Brownback. They are part of the administration's efforts to improve the state's business climate and increase the amount of money residents keep in their paychecks.

The top individual income tax rate drops to 4.9 percent from 6.45 percent. The owners of 191,000 businesses are exempt from income taxes. The changes are expected to cost the state about $4.5 billion over the next six years.

Brownback hasn't ruled out keeping the sales tax rate at 6.3 percent to help with budgeting. The rate was increased in 2010 and is scheduled to drop to 5.7 percent in July.