taxes

Jimmy Everson, DVM, flickr Creative Commons

The state of Kansas reduced its revenue projections for this fiscal year and the next by $228.6 million, further increasing the state's budget deficit. As a result, Gov. Sam Brownback proposed three plans for erasing the shortfall, one of which affects K-12 education.

The plan would cut spending to public schools, universities and most state agencies by nearly $140 million. Cuts ranging from 3 percent to 5 percent would reduce funding for school districts across the state by more than $57 million.

Stephen Koranda, File Photo / Kansas Public Radio

Estimates for Kansas tax collections were ratcheted down sharply yesterday. The state’s projected revenues dropped by a quarter-billion dollars over the next year-and-a-half. That leaves Kansas with a budget deficit. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is proposing plans for erasing the shortfall.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

A handful of university economists and state officials are meeting behind closed doors in Topeka today. Their objective is to come up with an accurate estimate of how much tax revenue Kansas will collect over the next year.

It’s a process the state has used since the late 70s for budgeting purposes--but it’s suddenly become controversial.

The last time the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group met, the news wasn’t good.

Stephen Koranda, File Photo / Kansas Public Radio

Kansas lawmakers will learn this week how the state’s finances are shaping up. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, new revenue numbers will be unveiled Wednesday.

The revenue numbers project how much Kansas will collect in taxes, and that information tells lawmakers how much they have to spend.

The Legislature actually already approved a state budget, but it was more of a preliminary plan. They suspected they would need to do more work, and the new revenue numbers will tell them how hard that work will be.

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Kansas Governor Sam Brownback says the economic border war in the Kansas City area has gone on long enough. He's proposing to cut back on economic incentives for businesses that jump the state line simply to get tax breaks. Brownback hopes both states will agree to the new restrictions in the greater Kansas City area.

“That’s really what I hope this does. It’s a good solid move forward that can be accepted on both sides while you continue to work on the issues,”Brownback says.

401(K) 2012 / Flickr Creative Commons

The majority of business owners surveyed by the Wichita Independent Business Association say the state’s income tax exemption for many small businesses should be amended.

Back in 2012, Gov. Sam Brownback ended all taxes on non-wage income for LLCs, subchapter S corporations and sole proprietorships, calling the move a “shot of adrenaline” for the economy. The idea was that small businesses would keep more of the money they make, allowing them to hire more people and expand their facilities.

Ervins Strauhmanis, flickr Creative Commons

Tax collections in Kansas were less than $2 million short of estimates last month.

The state Department of Revenue on Friday said total tax receipts were $1.7 million below projections. The numbers are a turnaround from February, however, when collections were almost $54 million short, eating up the state's meager $6 million savings account.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

A bill in a House committee would reinstate Kansas business taxes that were eliminated several years ago and then cut the sales tax rate on groceries.

Several business owners asked the Tax Committee to reinstate the income taxes they used to pay. Peggy Johnson retired from her financial advisor job just a few months ago. She says she saved money with the business tax cut, but didn’t create any new jobs.

Stephen Koranda, File Photo / Kansas Public Radio

Three Republican Kansas senators say the state should overhaul a policy that lets thousands of business owners avoid paying income taxes. Under current law, owners of more than 300,000 businesses don’t have to pay any state income taxes.

Senate Vice President Jeff King says that was not their intention when lawmakers passed the tax cut. He says they only meant to exempt working capital from income taxes, not the wages a business owner takes home.

Stephen Koranda

A bill under consideration in the Kansas Statehouse would speed up implementation of a law making it more difficult for city and county governments to raise local taxes.

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