Kansas tax receipts meet estimates in December

? Tax receipts flowing into state coffers in December came in slightly above the newly revised estimates, suggesting that for the time being, at least, the state’s financial condition is not getting any worse.

The Kansas Department of Revenue said Tuesday that total tax collections in December came in $6.2 million, or 1 percent, higher than the newly revised estimates.

“I am encouraged by that fact. I am hopeful that the sales tax increase year over year is an indication that purchasing power is returning to our agriculture and oil and gas sector,” acting Revenue Secretary Sam Williams said.

The biggest growth was in individual income taxes, which came in $2.2 million, or nearly 5 percent, above the official estimates, and nearly 7 percent higher than in December 2015.

Retail sales taxes also came in $5 million, or 2.7 percent, above estimates and nearly 6 percent higher than a year ago.

Those gains, however, were offset by shortfalls in other taxes. Corporate income taxes were $5.3 million below estimates and 28 percent lower than a year ago. Cigarette taxes were $3.7 million, or 24 percent, below estimates, and compensating use taxes — the sales tax consumers pay on items purchased in another state for use in Kansas — came in $3.3 million, or 9 percent, below estimates.

In November, after months of persistent shortfalls, state budget officials met and dramatically lowered their forecast of state revenues, resulting in a projected shortfall of nearly $350 million for the current fiscal year and $583 million for the new year that begins July 1.

Tuesday’s report showed that for the first six months of the fiscal year, total tax collections have come in $7.6 million, or 0.27 percent, above the newly revised estimates.

Individual income taxes have grown $46 million, or 4.23 percent, over the same period last year. But retail sales taxes are still $12.3 million, or 1 percent, lower than the first six months of the last fiscal year.