taxes

Bryan Thompson / Heartland Health Monitor/File photo

Kansas officials updated the state’s revenue forecast earlier this month, and this week will be the first chance to see how the estimates stack up. As Stephen Koranda reports, state tax collections for November will be reported on Thursday.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas is preparing for a new fiscal forecast for state government that is expected to be more pessimistic in projecting the state's tax collections than the current one.

State officials, legislative researchers and university economists were meeting Thursday to draft revised projections for tax collections through June 2017. They also planned to issue the first projections for the following two years.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, his staff and legislators use the numbers in budgeting. The current forecast was issued in April.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas tax collections came in almost $13 million below the estimate for last month. Personal income tax collections were up in October, but retail sales taxes and corporate income taxes were well below the forecast. Republican Governor Sam Brownback says sagging energy and ag industries are hurting the state's economy.

“We continue to experience a rural recession. Ag and oil prices continue to be low,” Brownback says.

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Kansas artists and arts organizations won’t have the access to grant money that they have had in previous years. That’s because the National Endowment for the Arts has said that state lawmakers did not allocate enough money to qualify for the grants, which are managed by the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission.

Kansas is now ineligible for close to $800,000 in matching funds from federal and regional arts supporters.

Sam Zeff / KCUR

Everyone knows agriculture is huge in Kansas.

It’s a $62 billion a year industry that accounts for 43 percent of the Kansas economy and touches every part of the state.

Following the 2012 Brownback tax cuts, farmers no longer had to pay state income tax – just like 334,000 LLCs, S corporations and sole proprietorships.

Kansas tax collections missed the mark in July and came in below estimates by more than $12 million.

According to the AP, the Department of Revenue reported Monday that the state collected $425 million in taxes last month, compared with the state's official projection of nearly $438 million. The shortfall was 2.9 percent.

Stephen Koranda, File Photo

Gov. Sam Brownback and Kansas legislators are waiting to learn whether state tax collections in July fell short of expectations.

The monthly report due Monday afternoon from the state Department of Revenue could complicate the state's financial picture and lead to a fresh round of budget adjustments.

Tax collections have fallen short of expectations for 10 of the past 12 months.

In June, they were $34.5 million below the official state projections made in a fiscal forecast issued by officials and university economists in April. The shortfall was 5.7 percent.

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

Gov. Sam Brownback is looking to shuffle funds within the state government to cover a projected shortfall.

Brownback spokeswoman Eileen Hawley told the Associated Press that since it is very hard to make cuts at this late date, it is more likely that money will be diverted from dozens of special funds into the state's main account.

Revenues for the state fell short $74 million in May. When the fiscal year ends on the last day of this month, Kansas is projected to have a $45 million dollar deficit.

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.

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