Lawmakers look to deeper cuts as revenue numbers fail again to meet expectations

TOPEKA (KSNT) – Kansas Lawmakers are working to eliminate nearly $300 million dollars in shortfalls for this fiscal year, and now that number is growing.

The Kansas Department of Revenue released the monthly report Friday afternoon, and the numbers were not what they were hoping for.

Tax collections fell short by about $47 million in January. The anticipated revenue was around $560 million and the actual revenue came in at $523 million. That’s an 8.4 percent shortfall for the month.

Now the state faces a projected deficit of $710 million combined for 2015 and 2016. But those numbers were put together in November, and there has been two months of shortfalls since.

Department of Revenue spokesperson Jeannine Koranda says the state paid out more in January in income tax refunds, and brought in less in sales tax receipts than expected.

“What also happens,” she says “are sales tax and use revenues, so that money that you pay on items when you go to the store, or that use tax is the tax on items bought out of state and brought into the state, and that was less than we had expected for the month.”

State Senate President Susan Wagle (R-Wichita) says lawmakers will just have to make more spending cuts moving forward.

“I think the state is just going to have to do what most Kansans have done and that is tighten the belt. You know, ride the waves, get through it and look for better times.”

Lawmakers will continue making those decisions next week as hearing son the governor’s proposed budget resume.

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