The Kansas House fell six votes shy of overriding Gov. Laura Kelly's veto of legislation granting multinational corporations a state income tax exemption on overseas earnings and enabling Kansans to itemize deductions on state tax returns while claiming an elevated standard federal tax deduction.

The $240 million, three-year package vetoed by Kelly would have earmarked future revenue gains from an expanded sales tax on internet transactions to buying down the state's 6.5 percent sales tax on groceries.

House Speaker Ron Ryckman, R-Olathe, said he was surprised the House voted 78-39 on the override, which was six short of the necessary two-thirds majority of 84. It would have needed a two-thirds majority in the Senate as well.

Fate of House Bill 2033 was decided by House Republicans who previously voted for the bill and backed out of a pledge to support the override, Ryckman said.

"It’s unfortunate the tax bill didn’t come together," he said. "We thought we were working along an area that would be good for our taxpayers, especially the ones who want to itemize, especially if you want a reduction in food sales tax. Doesn’t mean we won't try again."

Rep. Steven Johnson, the Assaria Republican who leads the House Tax Committee, defended the bill rejected by the Democratic governor. Johnson said it would be improper for Kansas to keep a windfall in tax collections tied to change in federal law signed by President Donald Trump.

The vetoed legislation would have responsibly trimmed income and sales taxes, he said, but wouldn't have modified  property taxes paid by Kansans.

House Minority Leader Tom Sawyer, a Wichita Democrat, said the idea of allowing Kansans to itemize on state returns was sound policy and if voted on individually might be unanimously supported by the Legislature. The provision enabling multinational corporations to avoid state taxes on foreign earnings ought to have been dropped from the bill, he said.

"It's a reward for large, multinational corporations that decide to invest money overseas and send jobs overseas. To me, that's a huge mistake," Sawyer said.

This was the second time Kelly's veto of tax legislation withstood a challenge in the Republican-led Legislature. Earlier in the 2019 session, she rejected a bill delivering $500 million in tax relief to businesses and individuals.

Kelly told House Democrats prior to the vote that an override would propel the state back toward the kind of financial tailspin arising after Gov. Sam Brownback signed income tax cuts in 2012 and 2013. The resulting revenue shortfall led to spending cuts, heavy borrowing, skipped pension payments and sales tax increases. In 2017, the Legislature voted to override Brownback's veto of a bill repealing much of his tax program.

"You're really protecting the state of Kansas," Kelly said, "because if that thing goes into effect, while it's not as deep as the last one that you sustained, it starts the return back to the Brownback era. We just can't do that."

Rep. Larry Hibbard, R-Toronto, said the state was on the right path in funding K-12 public education, but had unmet funding needs in highway, prison and foster care programs. Brownback's tax policy demonstrated gutting the treasury to lower income taxes makes it impossible to finance core functions of government, he said.

"I've been here throughout the Brownback tax experiment and realized how that's affected all segments of our state," Hibbard said. "There is no way I can support this tax bill."