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Task Force Recommends Changes to Kansas Revenue Projections

Sam Williams, who led the task force. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

A task force appointed by Governor Sam Brownback has suggested a series of changes to how Kansas officials estimate future tax collections. Those estimates are used when lawmakers craft the budget.

Sam Williams headed the panel, which suggests considering additional economic indicators when creating the revenue estimates. The suggestions include using new modeling software, considering additional economic reports and consulting with industry experts.

Williams says members of the group tried to "get out of the current reality" when creating the suggestions.

“We wanted to create a process that would give us more accurate information, be communicated in a more transparent fashion so that we can be accountable for what we’re doing,” says Williams.

Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan says state officials will be considering additional information to hopefully make the revenue projections more accurate.
“A better prediction taking into account the economy and tax policy changes. The recommendations from the task force, we feel, really help improve that process and bringing that together,” says Jordan.

One idea would eliminate the monthly report that compares predicted revenues to the actual tax collections. Instead, there would be a report comparing year-over-year tax collections.

Democratic Senator Laura Kelly thinks the proposal is politically motivated because the state has consistently missed the mark on revenue estimates.
“Clearly, this is an effort to get that out of the news because it has been bad and will probably continue to be bad,” says Kelly.
The administration is already pursuing some of the changes, but will take time to consider whether to change the monthly revenue reports.

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