Kansas Hands Out “Extraordinary Need” School Money
August 24, 2015

. (AP) – Several school districts in Kansas get less than half the emergency aid they were seeking under measures a state panel approved.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1Jh6wZE ) 38 districts, including some of the state’s largest, were vying for $12.3 million in emergency funds that had been allotted by lawmakers for this purpose last March. The districts had submitted requests for aid totaling $15.07 million.

The State Finance Council, which includes Gov. Sam Brownback and eight legislative leaders, granted about $2 million total to 13 school districts experiencing considerable growth in student enrollment this year.

The panel granted another $4 million to 22 districts that lost local revenue for this school year because of declines in the valuation of oil and gas properties. Most of those districts are in western Kansas.

Kansas Revenue Estimates Off in July
July 31, 2015

(AP) – Kansas collected about $3.7 million less in taxes than it expected in July, largely because of lower-than-anticipated revenues from its newly increased sales tax.

The state Department of Revenue reported Friday that the state collected $417.6 million in taxes, when officials projected $421.3 million. The shortfall is 0.9 percent.

The report came a day after Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget director announced $63 million in adjustments to the state’s $15.4 billion budget to lessen the chances of a deficit. Lawmakers last month increased sales and cigarette taxes as well.

Sales tax collections were $189.1 million for the month, or $3.9 million less than expected. The shortfall was 2 percent.

But the state’s personal income tax collections were $3 million more than expected, at $153 million. The surplus was 2 percent.

House Democratic Leader Tom Burroughs of KCK said, ““Given that this is the first month of the fiscal year, I am concerned state revenue is already down.”

Brown back Signs Tax Hike Bill
June 16, 2015

(AP) – Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed bills raising sales and cigarette taxes to balance the state’s next budget.

The Republican governor announced the signings Tuesday, only hours after he had a Statehouse news conference to defend the higher taxes.

Brownback said the bills don’t really represent a tax increase because of past income tax cuts he pushed successfully through the GOP-dominated Legislature in 2012 and 2013.

A budget shortfall arose after those income tax cuts, and the two bills passed this year together raise $384 million during the fiscal year beginning July 1 to avert a deficit.

One bill increases the sales tax to 6.5 percent from 6.15 percent. The other increases the cigarette tax by 50 cents a pack to $1.29. Both laws take effect July 1.

Kansas House Takes Up Tax Increase Plan
June 8, 2015

(AP) – The Kansas Senate has approved a new plan for raising sales and cigarette taxes to close a projected budget shortfall.
The 21-17 vote Sunday represented the first time this year that the chamber has approved a plan for raising enough new revenues to balance the budget. The action came on the 108th day of an annual legislative session that is now the longest in state history.
The plan would raise $423 million during the fiscal year that begins July 1. The sales tax would increase to 6.55 percent from 6.15 percent and the cigarette tax would go up by 50 cents a pack to $1.29.
The measure also would raise $24 million during the next fiscal year by increasing taxes for business owners.
The plan goes next to the House Monday.

Brownback’s k Plan: Raise Sales Tax, Reduce Mortgage Deductions
May 30, 2015

(AP) – Gov. Sam Brownback is proposing a state sales tax increase and other measures to deal with the state’s projected budget shortfall.

Brownback on Saturday proposed that legislators address an estimated $406 million deficit by increasing the state sales tax to 6.65 percent from 6.15 percent and eliminating most income tax deductions.

The plan also would exempt 388,000 low-income Kansans from income tax and increase cigarette taxes by 50 cents per pack. The plan would raise $23.7 million by imposing income tax on some previously exempted small business revenues.

All income deductions except the one for charitable donations would be eliminated, while mortgage and property deductions would be cut in half.

The plan is estimated to fill the budget gap and leave $81 million in reserves for the next fiscal year.

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