More Details on Briwnback’s School Plan, Others Worry Sin Taxes May Drive Biz to Missouri
January 16, 2015

The head of the National Education Association for the Kansas City, Kansas school district thinks Governor Sam Brownback’s plan for the state’s schools will short change students.
Brownback’s administration fleshed out the details of its education budget Friday.
Brownback’s school budget calls for spending to remain steady for the balance of this school year; next school year and the one after that, 2016-17.
School critics say that’s not enough money and point to recent court rulings to back them up.
In his Thursday night ‘State of the state’ speech, the conservative Republican called for a ‘time out in the school finance wars,”.
Brownback is also asking legislators to start overhauling the state’s complex formula for allocating money to every school district in the state.
The Governor wants the current formula to end this summer. He says school district could get state money through block grants while the formula is being redesigned.
Hodison says that is not practical.
“Well, if there is no formula how to you determine how much each school district gets?”
Another element of the Brownback budget plan is under fire from Kansas in the liquor business and the state’s convenience stores.
The administration is calling for a dramatic raise in the state’s cigarette tax.
The Governor is proposing to raise the 79-cent-per-pack tax to $2.29, almost triple the current tax.
The head of the state’s Petroleum and Convenience Store marketers Association, Tom Palace, said a rate that high would make competing with other states on cigarettes very difficult.
Kansas’ neighbor to the east, Missouri, has the 17-cent per pack cigarette tax, the lowest in the nation.
“All we’d be doing is waving at the taillights as they leave the state,” Palace said.
The co-owner of Rimann’s Liquors in Prairie Village, Ks said much the same thing.
“It would hurt–severally hurt our business. because,, again, Missouri has twice the population and they have significantly lower taxes on fuel, tobacco and of course, alcohol,” she said.
Brownback’s budgeteers hope the increases in the cigarette, tobacco and alcohol taxes, combined with delaying some tax cuts that were expected to take effect this year, will raise more than $300. The state is facing a budget shortfall of $700 million..

Brownback: I’m Working on $chool Funds & State Pensions
December 10, 2014

(AP) – Gov. Sam Brownback says he’s working on proposals for changing how Kansas distributes aid to public schools and for bolstering the pension system for teachers and government workers.

But the Republican governor provided no details during an interview Wednesday with The Associated Press. He said only that his administration is researching options on school funding and pensions.

Brownback’s comments came a day after he outlined a plan for closing a projected $279 million shortfall in the state’s current budget. His plan received bipartisan criticism because he directed the state to divert nearly $41 million from the public pension system.

He said he did so to avoid cutting aid to public schools and higher education spending.

But he also said the state can’t sustain increases this year in education funding.

Kansas State Revenue Up in November
November 28, 2014

(AP) – Kansas says its tax collections in November were $3.1 million more than estimated in November.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that revenue collections totaled more than $409 million this month, while about $406 million was estimated.

Corporate income tax receipts came in $1 million above estimates, while individual income tax receipts were $3.8 million above estimates.

But sales tax receipts fell short of estimates in November, coming in about $1 million below expectations.

The positive November revenue report came after Kansas fell $23 million short of estimates in October.

Kansas Revenues Shirt of Projection for Septembers
September 30, 2014

(AP) – Kansas says its tax collections fell $21 million short of expectations in September.

The lower-than-anticipated collections were disclosed Tuesday in the state Department of Revenue’s monthly preliminary revenue report. The development could cause a short-term increase in the state’s predicted budget shortfall of $238 million by July 2016.

The department emphasized that even with overall taxes falling short, the state saw higher-than-expected corporate income tax collections.

The state anticipated collecting $542 million in taxes in September and instead took in $521 million, a difference of 4 percent.

Since the fiscal year began in July, the state has collected about $1.35 billion in taxes, against expectations of $1.37 billion. The difference there is $23 million, or 1.7 percent.

The biggest shortfall is in personal income tax collections.

The Democrat for Governor, Minority Leader Paul Davis says the report proves Governor Sam Brownback “economic expiiriment isn’t working and it’s not going to work,”

Kansas’ Latest Revenue Report Dues Tuesday
September 30, 2014

(AP) – Kansas officials are waiting for word on whether state tax collections in September met expectations.

The state Department of Revenue’s report Tuesday afternoon was expected to renew a political debate over massive income tax cuts enacted at Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s urging. Brownback says the tax cuts are stimulating economic growth, but critics contend the reductions are wrecking the state’s finances.

The Legislature’s nonpartisan research staff is predicting that the state will face a $238 million budget shortfall by July 2016, even if tax collections meet the state’s official projections between now and then.

Kansas’ tax collections in July and August combined met expectations, but the collections in April, May and June fell a total of $334 million short of expectations.


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