WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Kansas says its tax collections fell nearly $45 million short of expectations in September.
The report Monday, from the state Department of Revenue, complicates the state’s budget picture five weeks before the election. Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s fiscal policies are a major issue in legislative races.
The department said tax collections were $521 million last month, 7.9 percent below the official projection of $566 million.
Since the budget year began July 1, tax collections have been $68 million less than anticipated. That’s a 4.7 percent shortfall.
Steve Crum is the Democratic candidate for the District 98 House seat.
He said the latest revenues show that it is time for a change.
“A change should have been made long ago, they knew last year we were missing month after month so they lowered the goal, lowered the goal and at some point you have the bar so low, you’re not able to get basic services,” said Crum.
Kansas has struggled to balance its budget since Republican legislators slashed personal income taxes in 2012 and 2013. Brownback pushed for the cuts as an economic stimulus.
Those tax breaks, Crum said, are to blame for the state continuing to come up short on tax collections.
“My number one priority is to get the tax code changed to fix the revenue problem in this state,” said Crum.
Crum is running against Republican incumbent Steve Anthimedes.
However, this issue is one they seem to agree upon.
Anthimedes said the current system just isn’t working.
“The old way we’ve been doing things isn’t working, so when something isn’t working, it is time to change your tactics,” said Anthimedes.
Anthimedes said when it comes to a solution, nothing should be off the table.
“We don’t want a band-aid. We want something that is going to be substantial, and that’s going to be sustaining,” said Anthimedes.
Anthimedes says it’s time for both parties to come together to work toward a solution.
“It’s a bipartisan issue, the only way we’re going to get through it is if we work together, That’s why we need people in Topeka that can work with each side of the aisle,” said Anthimedes.
It’s something Crum echoes.
“I want to work with Republicans and Democrats to solve this problem,” said Crum.
The state revenue numbers have been below estimates the last five consecutive months.
If you go back even further, revenue has been down 31 out of 44 months, since the income tax reductions took effect.
The state exceeded revenue expectations 23 out of 44 months before those changes.
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