Late Friday afternoon, the state of Kansas released revenue numbers for the month of October.
They were very bad news for the campaign of Gov. Sam Brownback, but good news for Paul Davis, with just days before Election Day.
Simply put, this is more evidence that the Brownback tax-cut “experiment” is not working and Kansas voters need to oust him at the polls on Tuesday.
The tax cuts are bleeding the state of needed funds to pay for high-quality public services to the people of Kansas. If the revenue problems continue, the next governor is going to have to cut services to the people — and certainly halt proposed bigger tax reductions in their tracks.
Here’s what happened Friday:
In October, individual income tax receipts were almost $27 million below what the state had estimated it would take in, or a jarring 15 percent off expectations.
Why does that matter?
Because this is the tax that Brownback and the Legislature cut in 2012. The promise then was that more jobs would flood Kansas, eventually pumping back up income tax collections.
That’s not working — at all.
Here’s another piece of bad news for the state.
For the first four months of the fiscal year, individual income tax revenues are now down a whopping $80 million, or 10.6 percent below estimates.
Even worse, the year-to-date numbers are below where they were after October of 2013. And that’s when Kansas eventually ended more than $300 million in the hole on individual income taxes.
Brownback staffers point out that the state overall is “only” 2.6 percent below revenue estimates for the year, thanks to other taxes coming in pretty much as expected or even a little higher.
But that’s a total of more than $46 million in the red. Keep up that pace, and the state will be more than $130 million in the hole by the end of the fiscal in late June of 2015.
Plus, the individual income tax is such a huge source of cash for Kansas that if revenues continue to go downhill, there’s very little the state can do to make up for that loss.