June 1, 2016, 3:55 p.m. Updated: 1 June 2016, 6:02 p.m.
Topeka The Kansas Department of Revenue said Wednesday that total taxes flowing into state coffers in May came in $74.5 million below estimates, putting the state general fund into a deep financial hole with only one month left in the fiscal year.
The report was released only about an hour after Kansas lawmakers formally adjourned the 2016 session during their "sine die" ceremony.
Individual income taxes were $58 million below estimates, while corporate income taxes came in $15 million short. Retail sales taxes came in nearly $4 million above estimates.
It was only the second monthly revenue report to be issued since the state's Consensus Revenue Estimating Group updated its estimates in mid-April by significantly lowering their projections of incoming revenues.
That action prompted Gov. Sam Brownback to enact a series of allotment cuts, including a $17 million cut in state aid to public universities. Afterward, lawmakers passed a series of budget amendments which, combined with additional cuts by the governor, was expected to leave the state with an ending balance of about $21 million on June 30.
The May revenue report effectively wipes out that ending balance, and, even if revenues come in as expected in June, puts the state about $53 million in the hole for the fiscal year.
Kansas law does not allow the state to end the year with a deficit, so the May report will likely force Brownback to order even more spending cuts.
There was little of the typical reaction or commentary from lawmakers in response to the revenue numbers as most were heading home when the report was released.
But Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichta, said the budget problem is now the governor’s responsibility.
“Legislators are just as upset about the state’s downturn in revenue as all Kansans,” she said. “With session adjourned and the budget passed and signed into law, the governor will have to determine how to address the shortfall.”
Originally published at: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2016/jun/01/kansas-revenues-fall-745-million-short-may/