Archive for Friday, February 28, 2003

Sebelius announces forthcoming revenue plan

February 28, 2003

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— Gov. Kathleen Sebelius today said she will lay out a plan soon to raise more state revenue. The plan will likely include expanded gaming, she said.

Citing falling tax receipts, Sebelius said her budget proposal made in January will not balance. "We need some additional revenue in order to close the books on this session," she said at her weekly news conference.

Sebelius has consistently denied considering tax increases to bridge the revenue gap, and repeated that vow, although at one point she said tax increases may be part of the mix.

"We have a host of proposals that include tax increases, one-time revenue enhancements, ways to move money around, we have some gaming strategies, some other issues," she said.

But later she said the package would not include a tax increase. "I don't think there is any appetite within this dome or throughout the state of Kansas for an overall tax increase this year," she said.

Legislative leaders said they would await Sebelius' proposal.

"We are either going to have to make some further cuts or taxes will be increased," House Speaker Doug Mays, R-Topeka, said.

February tax recipts were $18.5 million below projections, bringing the revenue drop-off to $50 million for the fiscal year, according to state officials.

Sebelius' administration will make a revised estimate on March 7 on how much the state will collect in taxes. Sebelius said she will unveil her revenue package seven days to 10 days after that.

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