The Buzz

Kansas tax cuts a matter of fairness, not economic development, state now argues

Updated: 2013-10-31T21:15:26Z

By DAVE HELLING

The Kansas revenue picture brightened slightly in October — overall collections dipped only 6.7 percent compared with the previous October, after a 10.2 percent revenue slump in September month-over-month.

But the income tax cuts that went into effect at the start of 2013 continue to hurt cash flow to the state. In October, income tax collections were down 17.4 percent from October 2012.

Total state revenue for the first four months of the fiscal year is down 8.5 percent from the first four months of the previous year. That’s slightly better than the 9 percent drop in the first three months.

The figures suggest the tax cuts passed by state lawmakers at the urging of Gov. Sam Brownback have not yet produced a major influx of additional revenue.

And that may explain why Brownback administration officials are promoting the new revenue numbers as a matter of fairness, not economic development strategy.

“Kansas families and businesses have been given real tax relief for the first time in decades,” said Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan in a statement. “And lower income tax rates are allowing people across Kansas to spend more of their hard-earned dollars as they see fit in the private sector rather than sending them to Topeka.”

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