Kansas prepares for new, more pessimistic fiscal forecast

Statehouse (KSN File Photo)
Statehouse (KSN File Photo)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Kansas faces a $349 million shortfall in its current budget and more gaps in the near future after officials issued a new, more pessimistic fiscal forecast for the state.

The forecasters on Thursday slashed the state’s previous projections for tax collections through June 2017 by 5.9 percent, or $355 million.

They also issued the first projections for the two fiscal years beginning in July 2017. Those projections were conservative.

Legislative researchers projected budget shortfalls totaling $1.1 billion through June 2019.

The previous fiscal forecast was issued in April. The state has missed monthly revenue targets six of the seven months since.

Kansas has struggled to balance its budget since slashing taxes in 2012 and 2013. The new forecast also reflects pessimism about agriculture and energy production.