Stephen Koranda

The chairman of the House Tax Committee believes lawmakers will need to rely mostly on taxes to fill a hole in the Kansas budget. The state faces a $400 million shortfall next fiscal year. Republican Representative Marvin Kleeb says they’re hoping to avoid cuts to K-12 education, which accounts for half the state budget.

“I don’t think there’s a tremendous amount of expenditure improvement that can happen. We held schools harmless and I think a lot of us feel we made a promise to schools to keep that block grant funding stable for the next two years,” says Kleeb.

Stephen Koranda

A group of state officials and economists will meet on Monday to put together a new estimate of Kansas tax collections.

As Stephen Koranda reports, the information is critical for lawmakers as they build the state budget.

Kansas legislators decided to wait to do the final work on the budget until after their spring break.

Stephen Koranda / File Photo

Twenty-four hours in politics is like a year in ordinary life, when surprising and unexpected happenings occur.

Governor Brownback asserted in his State of the State speech that the “march to zero” on income taxes would continue in Kansas. Twenty-four hours later, the administration announced that this “march” would be slowed.

Two new tax proposals were also announced. One is a 300 percent increase on a pack of cigarettes, from 79 cents to $2.29. The other raises the tax on liquor from eight percent to 12 percent.

A group meeting on Monday will update estimates for Kansas tax collections. The revenue predictions let lawmakers know how much money they have to spend as they write the state budget. Stephen Koranda reports...

The Kansas Consensus Revenue Estimating Group is made up of members of the governor's administration, non-partisan legislative researchers and economists from universities in Kansas. They meet twice per year.

The Kansas Chamber of Commerce says that in the 2014 legislative session, it will push to protect recently-enacted tax cuts.

The organization released a survey Tuesday of businesses in the state, showing that 57 percent of businesses say the taxes they pay are too high.

Former Kansas House Speaker Mike O'Neal is the president and CEO of the Kansas Chamber. He says some businesses may not have felt the impact of recent tax cuts yet.

Legally married same-sex couples are suing the Kansas Department of Revenue over a policy that says they must file separate state tax returns.

State Tax Revenues Miss Expectations In October

Oct 31, 2013

The Kansas Department of Revenue says the state collected nearly $18 million less in taxes than anticipated in October.

Kansas Tax Changes Leave Fewer Dollars For Services

Oct 25, 2013

City and county leaders met Thursday at KU for a panel that focused on the effects of recent changes to state tax policy.

Kansas has cut individual income tax rates and eliminated taxes for nearly 200,000 businesses over the past two years.

The changes have resulted in lower tax rates for most taxpayers, but also fewer dollars available for state government and state aid to local governments.

Local officials say the state is pushing more responsibility for funding and providing public services on them.

Kansas Says Gay Couples Must File Taxes As Singles

Oct 7, 2013

Kansas says same-sex couples must file their state income tax returns as if each person were single - even if they filed as married on their federal returns.

The state revenue department issued the guidance Friday. It plans to provide a worksheet in its instruction booklet for calculating income, deductions and other data.

The agency says the approach adheres to the Kansas Constitution's definition of marriage. It contends the recent U.S. Supreme Court case upheld the rights of states to define and regulate marriage.

State Tax Revenues Short Of Expectations

Sep 30, 2013

A new report says Kansas collected slightly less in taxes than expected in the first quarter of the fiscal year, but officials believe the shortfall may actually be a positive economic sign.