The Kansas cash crunch crisis got even worse in January, when the state fell $47 million short of expected tax collections.
The news that came out Friday afternoon is going to make it even more difficult to balance the budget in a state rapidly running out of money.
Overall, Kansas through the first seven months of the year is $59 million below what experts just last November predicted it would have by now.
That means the projected $280 million in budget cuts put forth by Gov. Sam Brownback may have to be ratcheted up by tens of millions of dollars more in the next few months, unless collections pick up.
And that could mean more cuts to education or increased transfers from a rapidly dwindling transportation fund.
What’s worse hit?
Income tax collections, of course.
That’s because the Brownback-approved tax cuts that took effect in January 2013 are decimating income taxes. This year, through January, the state is already a staggering $90 million below what it took in during the 2014 fiscal year. That’s a 6.4 percent reduction.
And remember: The state ended that last fiscal year more than $330 million in the hole.
Brownback has long promised that the tax cuts would be an economic stimulus to the state. However, as the latest figures indicate, they are draining the state of more revenue that expected while not providing any kind of positive bump in cash.
Perhaps facing reality finally, state Budget Director Shawn Sullivan this week conceded the state will have to handle cash flow problems in the next few weeks. Friday’s news makes that prediction even more obvious.
Earlier this week, Kansans got some more bad news when it was reported that the state added a meager 12,800 jobs in all of 2014. The rate of growth was among the lowest in the nation.