taxes

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.

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.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Kansas lawmakers are slated to vote on a bill Sunday that would delay a payment into the state pension plan and cut government spending to balance the budget.

Stephen Koranda

The Kansas House is set to vote today on a bill that would repeal a controversial tax exemption. That tax policy has allowed more than 300,000 business owners to avoid paying state income taxes.

Republican Rep. Mark Hutton is among the lawmakers who want to amend the business tax cut.

“It’s time to have the conversation, time to have the vote. Let’s put it to bed. There are a lot of people who think we need to change this. Let’s give them that opportunity to vote to do that,” Hutton says.

wichita.edu

Wichita State University held an entrepreneurship conference on Thursday at the Hyatt Regency downtown. The event featured several speakers who outlined the data behind startup businesses both large and small.

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.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File Photo

State lawmakers are considering how to erase a budget shortfall, and on Thursday a Kansas Senate committee took a look at business taxes.

Lawmakers held a hearing on a bill that would partially roll back a tax exemption for business income. Jim Eschrich is a business owner who says the tax changes overall have been good, but he says it’s unfair for some business owners not to pay income taxes.

Stephen Koranda

Kansas lawmakers are back in the Statehouse for the veto session, where they’re considering how to deal with a budget deficit. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, how they try to tackle the issue could determine how long they’re in Topeka.

Republican Rep. Barbara Bollier suspects it could be a brief veto session.

“I expect short and I expect very little to happen,” Bollier says.

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