Economy

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas tax collections were more than $30 million short in June, the final month of the fiscal year. That grew the state’s budget deficit to more than $75 million and prompted Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration to take steps to erase the shortfall.

Budget Director Shawn Sullivan says it’s difficult to cut budgets at the end of the fiscal year. Instead, the state is moving funds, including delaying part of a payment to school districts. Democratic State Sen. Laura Kelly says that’s worked in the past, but moving the payment is risky when tax collections have been so inconsistent.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas wraps up the fiscal year today with tax revenue numbers for June. The state is expected to come up short, with some reports saying tax collections could miss the mark by more than $30 million.

neetalparekh / flickr Creative Commons

This summer’s employment outlook is down from last year, but many local businesses are still looking to hire new staff.

A new survey from the employment company Manpower shows that 20 percent of Wichita employers are looking to boost their staff in the coming months. That’s down slightly from last quarter, when 22 percent of employers said they planned on new hires.

Ervins Strauhmanis, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas tax revenues came in almost $75 million below expectations for May. The shortfall once again puts the state budget in the red.

Legislators have grown used to the tax revenue missing projections in recent years.

But the shortfall announced Wednesday was big enough to give them pause as they gathered for the ceremonial last day of session. The state Department of Revenue reported $469.5 million in tax collections, missing the projected $544 million by about 14 percent.

Kansas Department of Labor

The latest jobs report for Kansas is a mixed bag.

Kansas’ unemployment rate fell slightly for the second month in a row, but the state Department of Labor says job growth has stalled.

According to a report released Friday, the unemployment rate for April was 3.8 percent, down from March's rate of 3.9 percent. It’s also down from April of last year, which was 4.2 percent.

Locally, Sedgwick County’s unemployment rate dropped sharply, from 4.6 in March to 3.9 in April.

Pew Charitable Trust

A report out this week from Pew Charitable Trusts found that unfunded pensions are the largest claim on future revenues in the state of Kansas.

The data set looks at the debt of all 50 states, the money owed into pension funds, and future money owed for retiree health care.

Using data from 2013, the report found Kansas has a $9.8 billion shortfall between the benefits promised to teachers and government workers and the savings available to meet those obligations.

Doug Kerr / Flickr Creative Commons

The outlook of $2.1 billion worth of highway revenue bonds in Kansas has changed from stable to negative, according to a report from the bond rating service Moody’s Investors Service.

Kansas is reporting that its tax collections last month were $2.6 million more than expected, giving state officials a small dose of good news in dealing with ongoing budget problems.

The Department of Revenue reported Monday that the state collected $584.3 million in taxes in April, when the official projection was $581.7 million. The surplus was 0.5 percent.

Abigail Wilson / KMUW

The Midwest Regional Public Finance Conference was held in Wichita today. Experts on the role of the government in the economy discussed the latest research, regulations and trends.

Kelly Edmiston, a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, says the economy in the Kansas region is growing more slowly than the rest of U.S. He says the setbacks are the result of a decline in the energy and agricultural sectors.

A national credit rating service says there's at least a 50-50 chance it could lower Kansas' AA credit rating later this year, depending on how the Legislature handles the state's current budget crisis.

The Kansas City Star reports Standard and Poor's Rating Services said Monday it had placed Kansas on a "credit watch" because of the state's budget shortfall and concerns about Gov. Sam Brownback's proposal for filling the gap.

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