Yael T. Abouhalkah

Sam Brownback and Kansans slammed with new dose of bad budget news

A new report Monday indicates Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and his government will collect hundreds of millions of dollars less than expected in future revenues.
A new report Monday indicates Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and his government will collect hundreds of millions of dollars less than expected in future revenues. The Associated Press

Monday was another dark day for Kansans hoping to see better state services in the future.

Officials announced that state revenues would come in almost $90 million short of expectations over the next three months of the year — and almost $200 million less than once predicted in the next two budget years.

What’s that mean?

First, the income tax cuts approved by Gov. Sam Brownback and the Legislature in 2012 still aren’t bringing in nearly enough new tax revenue through additional jobs once bravely predicted by Republican lawmakers.

Second, Brownback and the Legislature will have to keep cutting services, borrowing money and/or raising other taxes just to balance the budget.

Funding of K-12 schools just got a little dicier. And will the state have to borrow more from the state’s already-tapped highway fund?

Budget director Shawn Sullivan said Monday that Brownback would have a plan to offer by Thursday of this week.

That means lots of state-funded institutions will be holding their breath the next three days.

It’s getting repetitive, but the easy solution to this fiscal crisis is still the best: Roll back the deep income tax cuts that were selectively handed out to some Kansans starting in January 2013.

The numbers that emerged Monday show that revenues still are coming in slower than predicted just five months ago in November. And that was the month that state officials also lowered their previous expectations for state tax receipts.

In short, nothing is going as planned when it comes to prognosticating how much money the state will have on hand to provide strong public services to more than three million Kansans.

Brownback’s great income tax “experiment” is still failing in Kansas.

To reach editorial page columnist Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to abouhalkah@kcstar.com. Twitter @YaelTAbouhalkah.

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