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Kansas Starts Fiscal Year With Weak Revenue Numbers

Stephen Koranda file photo

Kansas is only three months into a new fiscal year and already tax collections have come in below estimates in each of the three months.

In both August and September, the state missed the mark by more than $30 million.

In November, a group of economists and state officials will gather to update the revenue projections. Annie McKay, with the Kansas Center for Economic Growth, says even if the state still has money in the bank, the new estimates could point to a looming shortfall in the coming months.

She says in other years, those revenue shortfalls wouldn’t be a major concern. But this year, Kansas officials were predicting a reserve fund of less than $100 million.

“If we have a couple more months like this, we’re going to be right back where we were a year ago, looking at mid-year budget cuts,” McKay says.

Kansas Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan blames the shortfall last month on drops in farm income and the oil and gas industry.

Gov. Sam Brownback has the authority to make cuts if needed to keep the budget balanced. A group of state officials and economists will meet next month to update the state’s revenue estimates.