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Kansas Officials Consider How to Use Unexpected Tax Collections

Photo by Stephen Koranda

Kansas ended the fiscal year last week with $318 million more than expected in tax collections, and politicians are already weighing in on how that money should be used.

Republican Governor Jeff Colyer wants to fund state services and look at cutting taxes in the future.

“I think it’s important that we fund our core pieces," Colyer said, "we make sure that the economy is growing and we do all that we can to do that and make sure that Kansans have low, stable, fair taxes.”

Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Colyer’s main rival for the Republican nomination for governor, has said he would push immediately for tax cuts.

“Those dollars belong in the pockets of the people of Kansas,” Kobach said. “As governor, I will move immediately to reduce taxes.”

Some lawmakers said the money could also be used to boost school spending. The Kansas Supreme Court ruled last month that current spending is inadequate.

“The additional revenue gives us a chance to restore education cuts, expand Medicaid and work towards lower food sales taxes in 2019,” Democratic state Rep. Brandon Whipple said on Twitter.

The jump in revenue comes after lawmakers raised taxes last year by rolling back many of the 2012 tax cuts. The revenue forecast took the tax increase into account, but the state ultimately collected more than expected.

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