Kansas Incentives and Workforce Development Guide

For a list of Kansas economic development agencies that can help with the site selection process, visit our Online Site Seekers’ Guide.

 

Right-to-Work State: Union membership in Kansas is 7.4%, well below the national average.

Rural Opportunity Zones (ROZ): Designed to spur economic development in and expand job growth in 77 key counties around the state. The program has two main incentives:

  • A state income tax exemption for up to five years to individuals who move to a ROZ county from outside the state. Individuals must not have lived in Kansas for the past five years, nor have Kansas source income of more than $10,000 per year over the past five years.
  • Student loan forgiveness of up to $3,000 per year ($15,000 maximum benefit) for individuals who graduate from an accredited post-secondary institution and move to a ROZ county. The student loan forgiveness portion of the program is a county-state partnership, and counties must opt in to participate.

Workers’ Compensation: Kansas ranks 11th lowest in the U.S. for worker compensation rates.

 

FINANCING

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG): Eligible small city and county governments may apply for Community Development Block Grant economic development funds to assist an expanding or new business in Kansas. There are two parts to the program: business finance and infrastructure.

  1. Under business finance, funds are available for working capital, machinery and equipment and real property. The interest rate is currently set at 3% below prime or 4%, whichever is greater. The term of the loan is based on the asset being financed—working capital loan is 6.5 years, machinery and equipment 10 years and real property is 15 years. For business loans, a match is required of $.50 to every $1 of CDBG funds.
  2. For infrastructure, funding is available for water lines, sewer lines, roads, rail spurs and pre-treatment facilities. Infrastructure funding requires that a quarter of the funds be paid back over a 10-year period at a rate of 0%. Funding requires the creation or retention of one full-time job per $35,000 of CDBG assistance up to the maximum of $750,000. At least 51% of the jobs created or retained must be held by individuals, who at the time of hire, meet HUD’s low and moderate income test, which is based on median family income in the county in which the project is located.

Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRBs): Industrial Revenue Bonds are a popular method of financing up to 100% of a growing business’ land, building and equipment. IRBs are securities issued by cities and counties to provide funds for creditworthy companies to acquire land, construct and equip new facilities or remodel and expand existing facilities. IRBs allow fixed-rate financing for the life of the bond for the project.

Partnership Fund: Commerce provides low-interest state funds to cities and counties for infrastructure improvements that support Kansas basic enterprises such as manufacturing and distribution. Eligible projects may include construction, rehabilitation or expansion of public facilities, including roads, streets, highways, water supply and treatment facilities, water distribution lines, wastewater collection lines and related improvements.

Promoting Employment Across Kansas (PEAK): This program offers qualified companies the ability to retain 95% of their payroll withholding tax for up to five to seven years. It is available for new operations in Kansas as well as relocated operations to the state. It is also available for qualifying business retention projects which has been extended through 2018. Companies need to create at least 10 new jobs within two years in metropolitan areas or five new jobs within two years in all other counties of the state. High-impact projects that create 100 new jobs within two years can retain 95% of payroll withholding tax for a period of 10 years. The number of years that the withholding tax can be retained depends on how much the annual median wage of the jobs at the Kansas worksite will exceed the current county median wage and the discretion of the Secretary of the Kansas Department of Commerce.

If the aggregate median wage of the new jobs does not qualify the project for PEAK, the annual average wage of the new jobs can be used. Qualifying through the use of the average wage limits the benefits received. Effective July 1, 2014 companies in the bioscience industry may also be considered for PEAK if funding under the Kansas Bioscience Authority is not an option. A PEAK application must be submitted before locating or creating PEAK-eligible jobs in Kansas.

 

SITE LOCATION ASSISTANCE

The Business Recruitment Team for the Kansas Department of Commerce can assist with various site location needs. Whether you’re seeking buildings or sites, our team has the resources and information to help you make an informed decision. Our Business Recruitment Team creates customized incentive proposals for clients based on capital investment, job creation, employee salaries and each company’s unique needs. We also coordinate with community economic development professionals for local incentives such as discounted building and land purchases, reduced property taxes, build-to-suit agreements and finance packages. All types of assistance offered for new company locations are also available for subsequent expansions.

 

TAX INCENTIVES

In Tax Year 2013, Kansas implemented a new tax reform plan where certain Kansas businesses saw significant tax relief. Kansas put in place a business income tax exemption which eliminates certain non-wag business income on lines 12, 17 and 18 of IRS Form 1040 for Partnerships, Limited Liability Corporations, Limited Liability Partnerships, Sole Proprietorships and Subchapter-S Corporations that have elected at the federal level to be taxed as a pass-through entity.

In addition, in tax year 2013, Kansas collapsed the current three-bracket structure for individual state income taxes into a two-bracket system. The top bracket for 2016 is 4.6% and the bottom bracket is 2.7%. In tax year 2018, the bottom bracket will be further reduced to 2.6%.

High Performance Incentive Program (HPIP): This program provides a 10% corporate income tax credit on the qualified capital investment of an eligible company. Qualified capital investment can include such items as the purchase or lease of a facility or equipment, remodeling or build-out costs, fixtures, furniture and computers. Equipment transferred to Kansas from out-of-state is also credited at the original acquisition cost. The 10% tax credit is awarded to companies that operate an eligible business, pay above-average wages and invest in employee training. The credits can be used to significantly reduce a company’s corporate income tax liability in a given year. Credits must be used within a consecutive 16-year period. The minimum investment threshold to qualify for HPIP is $1 million for the urban counties of Douglas, Johnson, Sedgwick, Shawnee and Wyandotte. For all other counties, the minimum investment threshold is $50,000. A key component of HPIP is the completion of the Project Description form, which must be submitted to the Department of Commerce prior to the company signing any document, such as a lease or purchase agreement, which commits the company to locating or expanding in Kansas.

Inventory Tax Exemption: All merchant and manufacturers’ inventories are exempt from property taxes by state law.

Machinery & Equipment Expensing Deduction: Eligible Kansas taxpayers are allowed to claim an expense deduction for business machinery and equipment, placed into service in Kansas. This is a one-time deduction for each qualified purchase of machinery and equipment in the year that it is placed in service. Unused expense deduction is treated as a Kansas net operating loss that may be carried forward for 10 years. Eligible investment is machinery and equipment depreciable under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) in section 168 of the Internal Revenue Code, or canned software as defined in section 197 of the Internal Revenue Code. Examples of eligible equipment include manufacturing equipment, office furniture, computers, software and racking.

Machinery & Equipment Property Tax Exemption: Commercial and industrial machinery and equipment acquired by qualified purchase or lease or transferred into the state is exempt from state and local property tax. The exemption pertains to machinery and equipment used in the expansion of an existing facility or the establishment of a new facility. The exemption covers machinery and equipment used in manufacturing or warehousing/distribution, commercial equipment, computers, desks and chairs, copiers and fax machines.

No Local Income Taxes: Kansas cities and counties do not impose an earnings tax on personal or corporate income.

No Kansas Franchise Tax: Kansas eliminated its franchise tax in 2011.

Property Tax Abatement: Cities or counties may exempt real property from ad valorem taxation. The tax abatement can include all or any portion of the appraised buildings, land and improvements. A total or partial tax abatement may be in effect for up to 10 years after the calendar year in which the business commences its operations. Any property tax abatement is the decision of the city or county.

Research Tax Credit: Kansas offers an income tax credit equal to 6.5% of a company’s investment in research and development above the average expenditure of the previous three-year period. 25% of the allowable annual credit may be claimed in any one year.

 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

The Department of Commerce has two workforce training programs to offset a company’s training costs.

Companies creating new jobs may qualify for Kansas Industrial Training (KIT) assistance. Eligibility for the program depends on the number of jobs created and the corresponding wages. We also have the Kansas Industrial Retraining (KIR) program to retrain a Kansas company’s existing workforce on new technology or production activities.

Projects involving a Kansas Basic Industry—which includes manufacturing, distribution or regional/national service facilities—may qualify for these programs. Both of these programs offer direct financial assistance to pay a negotiated portion of the costs to train a company’s employees. Companies may apply the assistance toward items such as instructors’ salaries; video development; textbooks and training manuals; supplies and materials; curriculum planning and development and minor training equipment.