Topeka As state revenues continued to fall, Gov. Mark Parkinson said Friday that it’s possible he’ll propose a tax increase to lift the budget out of the hole.
“We’re getting very close to that point,” he said during a news conference.
He said four rounds of budget cuts this year have been painful. Further cuts in the 5 percent to 10 percent range would be “crippling,” he said, adding that he doesn’t want to do that.
Parkinson, a Democrat, said sufficient revenue is needed to keep basic state functions operating.
Republican leaders who control the Legislature have said they would oppose tax increases.
But the budget picture got worse Friday. State revenues fell $15 million or 3.6 percent below projections for October, according to the Kansas Department of Revenue.
That brings the tax revenue shortfall for the fiscal year that started July 1 to $80 million.
Parkinson has indicated he will make cuts necessary to balance the budget by the time the Legislature returns in January.
But he said whatever specific action he takes will depend largely on the revised revenue estimate for the fiscal year, which will be set next week when state budget experts meet.
Meanwhile, education, which makes up the bulk of the state spending, is bracing for another round of cuts.
“Everybody in state government has been keeping an eye on revenue figures,” said Jack Martin, a spokesman for Kansas University.
He said higher education officials have assumed there will be more cuts. “We fully recognize the economic situation,” he said.