TOPEKA State officials today forecast solid growth in tax revenues, signaling a strengthening economy.
"These numbers would reflect a good economic climate in Kansas," Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' budget director Duane Goossen said.
The Consensus Revenue Estimating Group, which is composed of state budget officials and university economists, met to revise its revenue estimates for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, and the next fiscal year. The findings are used by the Legislature to write state budgets.
Bottom line -- state coffers are expected to increase $289 million over the last revenue estimate, which was made in November. The current fiscal year revenues will total $5.3 billion, a 9.7 percent increase over the last fiscal year.
"It reflects continued growth and strength in the Kansas economy," said Alan Conroy, director of the Kansas Legislative Research Department. "This is the largest single increase, in terms of dollars, that the consensus group has added at the April meeting," he said.
Lawmakers will reconvene the 2006 legislative session April 26 facing a court order to increase school funding and more equitably distribute those funds.
Sebelius issued a statement saying state officials "must work together to continue this prosperity by strengthening our schools and giving businesses a new incentive to invest and create jobs in Kansas."
The strengthening revenue picture reflects a continued economic rebound for Kansas, officials said.
Goossen said corporate income tax revenues have skyrocketed with a 60 percent increase last year, and an expected 46 percent increase this year.