Kansas tax collections last month came in nearly $54 million less than expected, putting the state again into a budget deficit. That prompted Governor Sam Brownback to defend Kansas tax policies and cut university funding by $17 million.
Republican Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan says lagging agriculture, aircraft and oil industries contributed to the shortfall. Jordan says the state should hold steady on tax policy because he says it’s attracting thousands of small businesses.
“So these are literally people who moved to Kansas, apparently, because they thought this was the best opportunity for them to grow their small business. There’s over 18,000 of those, and they have brought with them over $1 billion in new income,” says Jordan.
Governor Brownback says in a statement that he opposes reinstating income taxes on thousands of business owners. He says the state needs to manage spending, not raise taxes.
Democratic Senator Anthony Hensley says he doesn’t buy the governor’s argument. He squarely blames the tax cuts for consistent revenue shortfalls.
“I would hope that he and his allies would come to grips with reality and figure out that we have to bring some sort of budget stability, otherwise we’ll just continue in this downward spiral of an ongoing budget crisis,” says Hensley.
The latest revenue shortfall comes after the tax collection estimates were lowered in November.