(The Center Square) - Kansas is set to provide tax credits for workforce development in the aviation industry.
Governor Laura Kelly, joined Wednesday by legislators and industry leaders, signed House Bill 2239, which offers one tax credit for aviation employees and two tax credits for aviation employers starting in the 2022 tax year.
"Supporting the workforce development of one of our state's most important sectors is key to our shared economic success," the governor said. "Now, aviation and aerospace businesses will have more tools to recruit and retain talented employees, enabling the industry to soar to new heights."
According to a news release from the governor's office, "Employees with income tax liability less than $5,000 are eligible to carry any unused credit forward for up to four additional tax years - a $25,000 tax incentive over five years."
The new law faced criticism from Ganon Evans, a policy analyst at the Kansas Policy Institute, a free-market think tank, who said lawmakers should create a favorable tax environment for all industries, not just the aviation industry.
"Instead of narrowly tailored subsidies supporting one specific industry, no matter how well-intentioned, legislators should focus on making Kansas a better tax environment for all businesses," he told The Center Square.
"The equitable way to do this is through simple tax reform like reducing Kansas's highest-in-the-nation taxes on mature businesses," Evans added.
The bill will also provide financial incentives for employers that offer tuition reimbursement to workers to further their education in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
"This credit is capped at 50% of the total amount of tuition reimbursement paid and can be claimed each year, for up to the fourth year of employment with a qualified employer," the governor's office said.