Drum roll, please: The Missouri revenue figures for April came out Friday afternoon.
They were down 5 percent compared with April of 2013. Not great, necessarily.
But that’s also not near the catastrophe that Kansas just experienced.
Earlier this week Kansas Department of Revenue officials said their April 2014 revenues weredown 45 percent
over April of 2013.
The most likely reason is that Gov. Sam Brownback and his ultra-conservative Legislature approved irresponsible and large tax cuts that took effect in 2013, cuts that are now draining the state treasury of tens of millions of dollars it needs to provide crucial services to the people of Kansas.
Surprise: That wasn’t theexplanation offered by Brownback and his administration
Blame President Barack Obama, they said.
“What we are seeing today is the effect of tax increases implemented by the Obama administration that resulted in lower income tax payments and a depressed business environment,” Brownback said in a statement.
“The failed economic policies of the Obama administration are affecting states throughout the nation. It is more important than ever that we continue our focus on growing jobs and creating a business-friendly environment that benefits Kansans.”
Pay attention to the part of that statement that the policies “are affecting states throughout the nation.”
If so, why was Missouri down just 5 percent?
Indeed, that reduction could have been linked to some federal capital gains policies, Missouri budget director Linda Luebbering said in an interview late Friday.
She acknowledged that the state had a surge in capital gains revenue in April of 2013, which was not repeated in 2014.
Yet Missouri also had an increase in sales tax collections and in some other collections, which made up for some of the loss of income tax collections the state experienced.
Brownback wants to take the politically convenient excuse of blaming Obama’s tax policies for the problems in Kansas.
That’s not accurate. How about blaming Brownback’s own irresponsible tax policies for the state’s fiscal mess?