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The facts, faces and hum of local politics with Steve Kraske and Dave Helling

The Kansas revenue riddle

07/31/2013 4:06 PM

07/31/2013 4:08 PM

Kansas reported its July revenue numbers today, and they don’t appear to be encouraging for supporters of the 2012 Brownback tax cuts.

For the month — the first month of the state’s fiscal year — individual income tax receipts were $163.5 million, down more than 20 percent from the previous July.

Overall Kansas revenues were $425.4 million, off $32.4 million from July 2012, a 7.1 percent drop.

Of course, tax revenues fluctuate, so any one month should not be a great cause for concern.

But the pattern over the last 90 days isn’t rosy, at least for government budgeters.

In May, Kansas revenue actually grew 3.4 percent compared with the previous year. In June, though, total state revenue dropped 6.2 percent.

So revenue to the state treasury is shrinking over the last 90 days, compared year-over-year:

May +3.4 percent

June -6.2 percent

July -7.1 percent

The promise of the Brownback tax cuts is that economic activity and growth would bring in

more

revenue over time.

Of course, a slump in revenue isn’t necessarily a problem if spending is cut, and Kansas has done that. It has a healthy fund balance, at least for now.

And taxpayers have more money in their pockets. That should make tax cut supporters happy.

But the goal of pumping the state’s economy seems to be some distance away, at least seven months after the tax cuts took effect.

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