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Inadvertently sent Kansas Department of Revenue email shows expectation of revenue gain in May

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TOPEKA — Gov. Sam Brownback's administration expects tax revenue gains for the month of May, according to an email inadvertently sent Friday to the Lawrence Journal-World.

The email, from Chad Bettes, who is a high-ranking official in the Kansas Department of Revenue, to Sherriene Jones-Sontag, spokeswoman for Gov. Sam Brownback, even includes a prepared comment from Kansas Secretary of Revenue Nick Jordan. The actual revenue numbers were to be filled in later Friday.

Earlier Friday, Jordan urged House Republicans to break an impasse during the current overtime legislative session and approve measures that increase the sales tax but lower income tax rates. He said lowering income taxes would stimulate the economy. While higher sales taxes hit the poor hardest, he said the state spends $3.5 billion a year on safety-net programs for low-income Kansans.

Here is the email from Bettes to Jones-Sontag. The subject heading said, "Please advise of changes and/or approval":

Planning to send the numbers out between 4 and 4:30 p.m. -- State Tax Receipts Total $XX.X Million in May TOPEKA – May tax receipts exceeded estimates by $XX million, or XX percent, buoyed by one-time revenue attributed to taxpayers who accelerated income in advance of federal tax increases enacted earlier this year. Individual income receipts were $XX million more than anticipated, or XX percent, for the month. The increase over the estimate was due in part to balance due payments for 2012 income taxes, which were processed in late April and early May following the annual tax filing deadline. “It is important to be cautious when looking at these numbers because federal tax hikes proposed at the end of last year and passed in January likely influenced taxpayer behavior as people worked to ensure that income would be taxed at 2012 rates,” said Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan. “We have reaped the benefit of that at the state level in April and May, and now we expect things to return to more normal levels.”

Comments

yourworstnightmare 10 months, 3 weeks ago

A revenue increase is expected. While embarrassing, this happens all of the time in government and business. Preparing a statement before the facts are in is common practice and nothing devious. I wonder if they had a contingency statement prepared in case revenues fell. I doubt it.

Also, facts have a tendency to bend to ideology under this legislature and governor, so a pre-prepared statement like this begs to be correct, and facts can be obscured to satisfy it. Let's see the numbers.

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Steven Gaudreau 10 months, 3 weeks ago

"While higher sales taxes hit the poor hardest, he said the state spends $3.5 billion a year on safety-net programs for low-income Kansans." Meaning what?

Verity, I believe the point is that the poor are helping pay for their own benefits. Not a bad concept. If the poor are incapable of making good choices in life, the state is making them pay into a pool through sales tax and then giving the money back to them through social programs. Keep in mind the middle and upper class are still footing the majority of the bill.

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verity 10 months, 4 weeks ago

And I should believe these people why?

"While higher sales taxes hit the poor hardest, he said the state spends $3.5 billion a year on safety-net programs for low-income Kansans." Meaning what? Just more code.

House Republicans are finally realizing they've been snookered, but will they be able to resist their overlords?

0

2stuffedtojump 10 months, 4 weeks ago

It is a ruse. It was nice that Mr. Jordan could blame the poor people of this state for being poor.

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