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State Economists To Update Kansas Revenue Projections

Stephen Koranda
KPR/File photo

Kansas tax collections have been lagging behind expectations in recent months. A group of economists and state officials will meet today to update the revenue projections, which are used when lawmakers write the budget. KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports on what could be amended.

Sales tax collections have been coming in short in Kansas, meaning that is one of the areas where the projections could be lowered. Legislative research economist Chris Courtwright says they expected with low gas prices people would be spending the money they’re saving at the pump, but the sales tax receipts aren’t bearing that out.

“It’s something we’re trying to get our heads around. There are some concerns about consumer confidence and these kinds of things. These are just some of the things we’re trying to evaluate as revenue estimators,” Courtwright says.

Kansas has also seen lower-than-expected tax collections on oil and gas production and corporate income, so those forecasts could also be reduced. If the revenue estimates are pushed down, that could put the state’s budget for the year into a significant deficit.

More from the AP:

Kansas officials are preparing to issue a new fiscal forecast and it could leave the state with a projected deficit in its current budget again.

University officials, legislative researchers and officials in Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's administration were meeting Friday to draft revised projections for tax collections through June 2017.

The new forecast was coming the same day the Kansas Supreme Court was hearing arguments about whether a school funding law enacted earlier this year complies with the state constitution and whether the state immediately owes school districts another $54 million.

Since the current fiscal year began in July, tax collections have been short of expectations by about $78 million, or 4.1 percent.

The state boosted sales and cigarette taxes in July to close an earlier budget shortfall.

Stephen Koranda is Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio and the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KCUR, KMUW, Kansas Public Radio and High Plains Radio covering health, education and politics.