Gov. Mark Parkinson said Thursday evening his office was preparing for lower than expected revenue receipts and resulting budget shortfalls as the state closes its 2009 fiscal year in the next month.
“We have a strategy in place to manage our budget shortfall through the end of the current fiscal year on June 30,” Parkinson said in a statement. “This strategy includes delaying some education payments a few weeks and speeding up the Department of Revenue’s tax amnesty program.”
He said those steps would allow the state to finish the current year with a positive balance “and meet our financial obligations without legislative action.”
But the financial measures also mean the state’s budget will have less money to begin fiscal year 2010 on July 1, even as legislators feverishly worked to close a projected $328 million deficit when the recent legislative session ended. The governor’s office did not release specific figures Thursday night as part of the announcement about the new expected shortfall.
Amid another gloomy state budget announcement, the Kansas Department of Revenue also confirmed Thursday it had delayed sending out tax refunds.
Freda Warfield, a department spokeswoman, said the delay began this week. Officials hope to begin processing the refunds again in 30 days or less.
The delay affects only individuals who filed their tax returns late or if they had errors on their forms. Warfield said she did not have an approximate number on how many taxpayers were affected.
“The vast majority of individuals have their refunds,” she said.
During his announcement Thursday evening, Parkinson said the state would have to also deal with more reductions to the 2010 budget. Kansas law gives the governor the power to make spending cuts without legislative approval to prevent a deficit.
He said he would consult with legislative leaders and all state agencies.
“Every group, every agency and every program affected by our budget will be called upon to share in this solution, and I will make sure that the action we take is responsible and reasonable,” Parkinson said.