Kansas facing potential tax troubles

(KSN File Photo)

WICHITA, Kansas – Kansas made national headlines in 2012 when the Governor signed massive tax cuts.

Fast forward to 2014 and the state is again in the news about taxes.

In April, the state announced that it collected $93 million less than expected in taxes.

Year to year, that amount was down $480 million.

Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the state’s bond rating, citing those drops in revenue for the state.

In a new report, Moody’s says the state of Kansas needs to start making spending cuts to make up the difference.

Local economists say these cuts could hit businesses hard.

Dr. Ken Kriz, Kansas Regents Distinguished Professor at Wichita State University, says the downgrade is substantial enough to show economic instability in the sunflower state.

“With a lower bond rating, they’re going to be less certain about the future in Kansas,” said Kriz.

If businesses were less likely to come to Kansas, Kriz says we could see a dramatic drop in revenue.

“It certainly would be a very large number, in the millions and possibly in the tens of millions of dollars,” said Kriz.

The state of Kansas is hamstrung financially required to spend more on schools and facing $17 billion dollars in unfunded pension liability.

Jeremy Hill, the Director for the Center of Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State University, says when the state starts cutting funds from other programs, the average taxpayer will be affected.

“It could affect someone in the state when a program for daily living or they require might be removed,” said Hill.

We put a phone call and an email to Governor Brownback’s office, in hopes of getting a statement from him on the issue.

We’re still waiting on a response from his staff.

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