Archive for Monday, November 2, 2015

Kansas tax collections $11 million short of expectations in October

November 2, 2015, 3:31 p.m. Updated November 2, 2015, 4:43 p.m.


— Tax revenues flowing into state coffers came up short of expectations again in October, pushing the state’s general fund to the brink of a projected negative ending balance, a point at which Republican Gov. Sam Brownback may be forced to make midyear spending cuts, state officials said Monday.

The Kansas Department of Revenue said total taxes in October were $10.9 million short of official estimates. That brings the cumulative total shortfall for the fiscal year to $77.9 million.

That’s almost exactly the same amount as budget officials had expected the state to have as an ending balance at the end of the fiscal year.

Furthermore, budget officials are scheduled to meet Friday and release new, updated revenue estimates, and it is widely expected that those will show a downward revision from the last estimates, which were released in August.

Brownback’s press secretary, Eileen Hawley, would not comment on the possibility of another round of “allotment” cuts. But Rep. Boog Highberger, D-Lawrence, said he is already bracing for the likelihood that lawmakers will have to make major adjustments when the 2016 session begins in January.

“Those results are disappointing but not surprising,” Highberger said of the latest report. “My understanding, based on the most recent numbers I’ve seen, is that even if we meet revenue estimates the rest of the year, we’re already going to end up in negative territory. So we’re looking at more cuts or another tax increase.”

Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan said the October shortfall was due mainly to sluggish sales tax receipts, which he said were part of a national trend.

“Sales and use tax receipts have continued to follow the sluggish national trend and fell short of expectations, negating gains in individual income tax receipts,” Jordan said in a statement.

During the 2015 legislative session, Kansas lawmakers raised the state sales tax by four-tenths of a percent, to 6.5 percent, but actual receipts have fallen below projections every month since that higher rate took effect July 1. The last time sales tax revenues met projections was in April, when they came in $330,000, or 0.2 percent above estimates.

That decision reflected Brownback’s stated policy of shifting the state away from a reliance on income taxes and toward more reliance on so-called “consumption” taxes, including sales taxes.

Legislative Democrats were quick to pounce on the negative revenue report.

“The fact sales tax revenue was below estimates, even after Republicans passed a massive sales tax increase, is an indication of just how much Kansas families are struggling under the Brownback tax plan,” House Minority Leader Tom Burroughs, of Kansas City, said. “A tax plan that is overly dependent upon a sales tax is neither responsible, equitable, nor sustainable.”

Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley, of Topeka, said the numbers were a reflection on Brownback’s policy of trying to phase out income taxes while shifting the burden of funding state government onto sales taxes.

“There’s no doubt we are on the ‘glide path to zero.’ The question is what reaches zero first: income taxes on the wealthy, our state’s cash on hand, or Sam Brownback’s approval rating,” Hensley said.

According to the Kansas Department of Revenue, sales and compensating use taxes — sales taxes paid on out-of-state purchases — were $20.9 million below estimates in October. That was partially offset by individual income taxes, which came in $13.2 million above estimates.

Severance taxes on oil and gas extraction also fell short by about $3.7 million, a result of decreased production due to declining prices.

According to the Department of Revenue, individual income taxes came in $13 million over the estimates in October. But that gain was negated by a $20.9 million shortfall in sales and compensating use taxes, which are sales taxes paid on out-of-state purchases.

For the entire fiscal year so far, sales taxes have come up $34.3 million short, and individual income taxes have fallen $25.5 million short of expectations.


Calvin Anders 2 years, 6 months ago

So, I'm curious, who generates the "state's official fiscal forecast". I'd very much like to know who comes up with these numbers. Are the numbers straight out of Brownie's office? Or does his office send them to some other office and they release them? Does anyone have a link to a comparison month over month for the last 18-24 months of "state's official fiscal forecast" vs. actual? Seems like the forecast is pretty consistently overly optimistic.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 years, 6 months ago

I believe this is the money they need to balance the budget, but they aren't getting it.

David Carson 2 years, 6 months ago

This is what happens when idiot conservatives vote for lying scumbags that are just like their own selves. Idiots, each and every Brownback conservative voter, way too stupid to think for themselves. Disgusting morons.

RJ Johnson 2 years, 6 months ago

They shouldn't be spending money they don't have!!

Lawrence Freeman 2 years, 6 months ago

Better retake Civics class. The house of representatives controls the purse strings. Plus Kansas receives more in federal funds than we pay in taxes.

David Carson 2 years, 6 months ago

I just love off topic, idiotic comments from people that cannot defend the lying scum they voted for. Two peas.

Brian Strouse 2 years, 6 months ago

The President can't spend a dime of tax payer money.

Brian Strouse 2 years, 6 months ago

The President can't spend a dime of taxpayer money.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 6 months ago

The American Legislative Exchange Council aka ALEC economic agenda is rolling along according to plan. In an effort to place Kansas into bankruptcy opening doors for the Koch boys and their associates to step in and buy Kansas State Government Services with local government services immediately on the horizon.

The Brownback administration like Gov Sam Brownback has never had an ounce of fiscal responsible republican in its DNA. Only reckless spending and over throw of governments is the only DNA Brownback thinkers have ever embraced.

--- ALEC Meets to Map Out Anti-Education Strategy

Exposing the ALEC Agenda to DEFUND,DISABLE, DISMANTLE and DESTROY public education .

Taxpayer should want more tax dollars spent on public education because it brings our tax dollars home that stay in our respective communities which are spent in many many many local economies. AND create new employment.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 6 months ago

Selling Schools Out – Jeb Bush: Man Behind the Virtual Curtain.

--- ALEC’s Virtual Public Schools Act

--- What About the ALEC GOP?

--- Corporate Allies Plan to Privatize Government

--- Under the banner of high-tech progress, corporate lobbyists have rammed through legislation privatizing K-12 education across the country. Good for Business; Kids Not So Much

Shaun Battles 2 years, 6 months ago

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein

Linda Provo 2 years, 6 months ago

I wonder if this includes the money raised from the tax amnesty program?

Phillip Chappuie 2 years, 6 months ago

Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan said the October shortfall was due mainly to sluggish sales tax receipts, which he said were part of a national trend.

How about this, the October shortfall and all the shortfalls are largely because a bunch of people don't have to pay any State income tax. How about that Nick? How many millions have been missed due to the failed tax policy? Hmmm? Looks to me like a lot of folks can now take the family to Cancun for Christmas and a lot of other folks struggle to make ends meet because they have to put food on the table. At a higher sales tax rate that low income wage earners cannot bear.

John Sickels 2 years, 6 months ago

No matter how much Republicans try to deny it, these are facts proven by history over and over and over again:

Regressive taxes ( low taxes on the rich, higher taxes on the poor and middle class) slow the economy.

Progressive taxes (higher taxes on the rich, lower taxes on the poor and middle class) improve the economy.

States like Minnesota that have adopted progressive policies are doing much better economically than most red states. And history proves that the economy does better under national Democratic administrations than under Republican ones. Even FORBES admits this.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 6 months ago

The causes that have created this situation is plain and simple. Criminal activity on the part of elected officials. Activity by those who give the billionaires a pass on taxes owed to the state and then take money from them to run attack ads at election time against the Democratic Party candidates.

This is plain and simple. Criminal activity.

So when are the charges to be filed? When do the impeachment proceedings commence??

Marc Wilborn 2 years, 6 months ago

Wow, every other state and the federal government take in more than enough money to pay the bills and create a surplus. Can't say I agree that Kansas should run a deficit but y'all act like we are the only ones. Get with the program, its never being paid back. The politicians from both sides of the aisle figured this out long before now.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 years, 6 months ago

Marc, you do know that Kansas has always balanced their budget. By law they have to. You don't know much about your state government do you? And the states that are running a surplus, and there are some, do not give huge tax breaks to people who already have money, then raise taxes on everyone else. We have one of the highest sales tax and there is no break on sales tax for food. Wake up.

William Davis 2 years, 6 months ago

States like Kansas and America should be enough evidence that republican economics don't work. Cutting taxes and hoping for trickle down hasn't worked for the last 35 years, what makes you think it will work now? I know that the term "Tax and Spend" has become a mantra for conservatives to belittle democrats, but you cannot spend without tax payer dollars and the republicans have been spending without tax payer dollars. At least the democrats tell you what the tax is and where it will be spent and that it will benefit society and the spending will be paid for. The republicans on the other hand cut taxes, create huge tax breaks for the wealthy, continue to spend and drive up the debt. Please tell me how you can vote for a republican?

Ricky Duncan 2 years, 6 months ago

Every Democrat in the Country needs to run ads. " Kansas is being turned into a Third World State, and that's want the TeaParty Republicans want for the other 49 states. Send a Message to them NO MORE TRICKLE-DOWN Disasters for America, it ends here November 5th 2016"

Calvin Anders 2 years, 6 months ago

William, you say "republican economics don't work", and you say there is ample evidence to that effect. I respectfully disagree. I would contend that the current economic policies, both nationally and at the state level, and perpetuated by both parties, though I will agree the Republicans seem to have been significantly more aggressive about it, have resulted in their intended purpose. The current policies have resulted in significant gains in the wealth of the super rich. Wealth redistribution has been the aim of these policies and it has been an overwhelming success.

Carol Bowen 2 years, 6 months ago

There's a new theory afloat. Multigenerational households hurt the economy, because separate households need separate big ticket items like refrigerators , pay separate utilities, and so on. Less money spent. Of course, this theory is never in the same discussion as the theory that people do not have as much spendable income because of student loans.

Bob Summers 2 years, 6 months ago

To help the poor and destitute, why doesn't KU give 11 million from the record 184.6 million given to them by the super rich? KU doesn't need it.

Barb Gordon 2 years, 6 months ago

They wouldn't need it if the state were funding the university at their old rate. Of course, some of the reason they were previously better funded by the state is because those super rich were paying their fair share of taxes.

Bob Summers 2 years, 6 months ago

Since the super rich gave record amounts to KU, KU should give 11 million to the state to give to the poor and destitute.

KU is hoarding the super rich money for their fancy buildings they do not need.

Paul Beyer 2 years, 6 months ago

Obviously you have never gone to college. And apparently no one in your family has either. And some of the non tax paying rich and LLC's should go back to paying their share of taxes.

Bob Summers 2 years, 6 months ago

Your defense of KU and the super rich by attacking me, over the poor and destitute the state is trying to take care of is troubling.

Lawrence Freeman 2 years, 6 months ago

Missouri revenues are up 3% since July. I wonder if they will send brownback a thank you card.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 6 months ago

Kansas is being set up to file bankruptcy such that Detroit has done and Philadelphia is on the verge courtesy of ALEC legislators.

ALEC controlled politicians stick to the ALEC agenda which does not provide for common sense and fiscal responsible concepts.

Wrecking economies and bankruptcy is calculated,premeditated and intentional.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 6 months ago

Why would anyone vote republican ever again?

How does anyone know that the Brownback administration isn't lying about their projections in order to kill the Kansas economy?

How does anyone know that the Brownback administration hasn't been lying about revenue collections over the past seven years in order to kill the Kansas economy?

Considering how bad things have gotten since the Brownback administration took over shouldn't there be a major audit to be sure the numbers are correct?

Why is Gov Brownback is basing his decision on a projection?

Taxpayers the decision is based on a Brownback projection not a solid foundation....

This governor was in Washngton D.C. when two GOP home loan scandals took place?

Richard Heckler 2 years, 6 months ago

"Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan said the October shortfall was due mainly to sluggish sales tax receipts, which he said were part of a national trend."

Is Nick Jordan telling the truth?

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