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Kansas Attorney General Rules Retroactive Tax Legislation Constitutional

The Kansas Attorney General issued an opinion in which it concluded that passing proposed legislation during the 2013 legislative session to amend

The Kansas Attorney General issued an opinion in which it concluded that passing proposed legislation during the 2013 legislative session to amend legislation enacted in 2012 would not result in an unconstitutional retroactive tax increase. The proposed legislation, if signed into law, would define the tax basis for sales of business interests or shares, eliminate credits and deductions, or increase the income tax rates.

The attorney general’s opinion relies upon the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in United States v. Carlton, 512 U.S. 26 (1994), that a retroactive tax statute does not violate due process if the retroactive application of the legislation is justified by a rational legislative purpose.  The attorney general concluded that the proposed legislation would not violate due process because any potential changes made during the 2013 session would likely be curative in nature, thus serving a legitimate legislative purpose, and the period of retroactivity would be limited. The attorney general also stated that any potential claims of lack of notice and detrimental reliance would likely fail, as they did in Carlton

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