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New Tax Numbers Mean Kansas Faces Another Budget Deficit

Budget Director Shawn Sullivan (left) speaks about the new revenue projections at the Kansas Statehouse. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

Kansas officials Friday lowered the state’s estimated tax collections by $160 million for the current year. That puts the state into a budget deficit projected to be nearly $120 million.

In response, Governor Sam Brownback’s budget director, Shawn Sullivan, unveiled a series of spending adjustments to cover the shortfall. The plan takes $50 million from the state highway fund. It also relies on unexpected savings and money shifted away from the Kansas Bioscience Authority and other areas.

Sullivan says they’re targeted changes.

“It does protect higher ed. It does protect K-12 education. It takes advantage of some additional efficiencies and other things,” says Sullivan.

Sullivan blames the sagging tax collections on a drop in farm income, low sales tax revenues and low energy prices. Democrats in the Legislature blame the budget troubles on tax cuts enacted several years ago.

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