Economy

Ervins Strauhmanis, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas tax collections came in nearly $7 million below estimates last month, despite some bright spots in the January report.

Kansas individual income tax collections came in $8 million higher than expected, but corporate income tax collections were well below the estimate and sales tax receipts also came up short. Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan says weak oil, aviation and agriculture industries are hurting tax collections.

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A new study shows Kansas' high sales taxes on groceries have people crossing state lines to shop, particularly residents living in border counties.

The trend hurts low-income families, rural grocery stores and local governments.

Ervins Strauhmanis, flickr Creative Commons

A new efficiency report includes more than 100 recommendations that could save the state more than $2 billion over five years.

Workers from the company Alvarez and Marsal released their preliminary findings to lawmakers Tuesday. Suggestions for improving efficiency and performance range from hiring more workers in the Department of Revenue to eliminating some health insurance options for state employees.

Ervins Strauhmanis, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas collected $27 million less than expected in taxes last month, largely driven by sagging income and sales tax receipts. The drop is enough to erase the state’s small estimated savings account.

Kansas Secretary of Revenue Nick Jordan says it’s too early to tell if it’s a one-time drop in income taxes or a trend.

“It is the first time this fiscal year that individual income tax receipts have not grown compared to the prior fiscal year to date,” Jordan says.

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A regional economic report out of Creighton University indicates that December of 2015 continued a sluggish trend for Kansas’ economy.

The report surveys supply managers and business leaders in a nine-state region, including Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

The Kansas Business Conditions Index for December dropped to 41.7 from November’s 42.6. On a scale of 0-100, scores below 50 are considered a slow-growth economy.

State officials will learn today if tax collections last month in Kansas met their projections. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, the state is expecting a small savings account, so monthly revenue numbers are critical.

Hugo Phan

Visit Wichita has released numbers on the economic impact of the series of Garth Brooks concerts that took place two weeks ago.

Of the 75,000 tickets sold for the six concerts held at Intrust Bank Arena, about one-third were out-of-town guests who dined, shopped and stayed in downtown Wichita.

Americans living in rural areas are struggling more than their urban counterparts seven years after the start of the Great Recession.

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A survey of business officials in the middle of the country paints a dim outlook for the region’s economy. The survey by Creighton University shows a negative outlook for job growth and overall business conditions in Kansas and other mid-America states.

Creighton economics professor Ernie Goss says the numbers show manufacturing has taken a hit in the region, with more than 1 percent of manufacturing jobs lost in the last year.

Kansas officials will learn soon whether the state's tax collections in November met expectations.

The report due Tuesday from the Department of Revenue is coming less than a month after state officials and university economists issued a new, more pessimistic forecast for tax collections through June 2017.

The new forecast reflected economic slumps in agriculture and energy production and a softness in recent months in consumer spending.

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