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.

Stephen Koranda

Kansas tax collections beat projections last month. Taxes were $8 million above estimates and adding in other sources of state revenue brings the November surplus to more than $15 million.

Kansas Secretary of Revenue Nick Jordan says individual income taxes and retail sales taxes were two of the bright spots in the month of November.

“We aren’t going to throw too big a party yet, but it’s one month and it’s a good sign that there’s been some growth this month,” Jordan says.

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.

Stephen Koranda

Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration announced a series of financial moves last week to deal with a budget deficit. The plan takes money from the highway fund and other areas to cover the shortfall, but it leaves the state with a razor-thin savings account estimated at under $6 million.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas officials Friday lowered the state’s estimated tax collections by $160 million for the current year. That puts the state into a nearly $120 million budget deficit.

In response, Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget director, Shawn Sullivan, unveiled a series of spending adjustments to cover the shortfall. The plan takes $50 million from the state highway fund. It also relies on unexpected savings and money shifted away from the Kansas Bioscience Authority and other areas.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas tax collections have been lagging behind expectations in recent months. A group of economists and state officials will meet today to update the revenue projections, which are used when lawmakers write the budget. KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports on what could be amended.

Stephen Koranda

Lawmakers are studying Kansas tax credits and exemptions to see if they’re still worth keeping.

A special committee met Thursday to begin reviewing the state’s tax policy. Republican Sen. Ty Masterson says they may not name specific credits and exemptions to eliminate, but instead recommend a regular process to find ones that are no longer working.  

Nick Ares, flickr Creative Commons

New numbers show Kansas revenues were $15 million short of estimates in October. So far this fiscal year, the state has brought in $57 million less than expected.

Kansas income tax collections beat the estimate significantly, but that was outweighed by drops in other areas like sales taxes. Republican Secretary of Revenue Nick Jordan said in a statement that Kansas is following a national trend with these sluggish sales tax numbers.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Gov. Sam Brownback is taking some budget options off the table for now in the face of sagging revenue numbers.

Tax revenues in Kansas were $30 million below estimates for the month of August.

The state’s revenue numbers were dragged down by large tax refunds given to companies as part of economic development programs.

Secretary of Revenue Nick Jordan says the economic development programs are considered when writing the estimates, but this month included especially large refunds.