Jordan Touts January Tax Collections in Kansas, Legislative Researchers Warn of Long-Term Hole
February 1, 2013

An estimate from the Kansas Legislature’s research department says the state’s deficit could grow to more $700 million dollars over the next five years because of the tax cuts and reforms of Governor Sam Brownback, according to the Topeka Capital Journal.
Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan discounted the prediction at Senate Ways and Means hearing Thursday, according to the report, because the project are so far off in the future.
Jordan’s office Thursday announced that revenues from January are exceeding expectations. His office says tax collections are up 11% from what was expected.
The report says the money collected during the first seven months of the fiscal year are running ahead of projections, as well. On that pace it could shrink the expected $265 million hole anticipated for the current budget.
The Brownback administration believes eliminating some taxes and reducing others will lead to creating more jobs and drawing more business to Kansas.

Study: Kansas’ Poor Pay Higher Percentage in Taxes Than Wealthy
January 30, 2013

(AP) – A new study by a non-partisan Washington research group says the poorest Kansans pay a much higher percentage of their incomes in state and local taxes than do the state’s wealthiest residents.

Wednesday’s report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy says for the poorest 20 percent of non-elderly Kansans, state and local taxes equal 10.3 percent of their income. For the wealthiest 1 percent, the figure is 3.9 percent.

The institute’s data considers income tax cuts enacted last year.

The report says the percentage of income going to taxes for the poorest Kansans is 2.6 times as much as it is for the wealthiest. Only 13 states have a larger disparity.

Only 11 states have their wealthiest 1 percent paying a lower percentage of their incomes in taxes.

Kansas Budget Forecast Looks Tight
November 7, 2012

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Kansas revenue forecasters predict the state will collect nearly $705 million less in the next fiscal year than it will this year as income tax cuts take effect and a sales tax increase expires.

The prediction issued Tuesday is the first glimpse at how the experts believe the cuts adopted in May will affect state revenue. The cuts take effect in January.

The forecasters shaved $5.2 million from their earlier prediction of revenues in the fiscal year that ends next June 30, bringing it down to $6.17 billion. They also say they expect the state to collect $5.46 billion in the 2014 fiscal year, which begins next July.

The forecasting team includes legislative researchers, members of the governor’s budget stuff, Department of Revenue officials and economists from three state universities.

Brownback to Push ‘Property Tax Transparency’ in Next Session
October 26, 2012

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback joined legislative leaders in unveiling a “property tax transparency” law intended to stem the rise of such taxes when assessed property values increase.

The governor said Friday the bill would require local governments to publicly vote to raise property taxes, rather than approve budgets based on growing assessments. He said the state does not intend to raise its share of property taxes.

Republican state Sen. Susan Wagle says the plan would put a flexible cap on property taxes, and exempts new construction.

Democrat state Rep. Jim Ward says Democrats tried to pass property tax relief last session that would have taken effect this year. He says the governor is not being honest because Kansans understand that income taxes can’t be cut without affecting local property taxes.

Big Changes Expected in Kansas Schools Next Year
October 18, 2012

The state’s education commissioner said possible policy changes will make next year one of the busiest years in a decade for Kansas educators.

Commissioner Diane DeBacker told the State Board of Education Tuesday that 2013 could be the busiest year since the No Child Left Behind law was enacted in 2001.

DeBacker said the board will consider changes such as adopting new science standards, new history and government standards and deciding how to tie teacher evaluations to student achievement. Educators also will be implementing Common Core State Standards and deciding what type of assessments will be used.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that at least four of the 10 state board members will be newly elected, and they’ll be working with a Legislature where several members will also be new.

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