New forecast ups Kansas tax estimate by $291M


Democratic Gov.-elect Laura Kelly has received good news about the budget picture in Kansas with the release of a new fiscal forecast for state government.

Fiscal forecasters on Friday boosted the projection for tax collections expected during the current fiscal year by $291 million. That’s 4.2 percent higher than the previous forecast made in April.

The state now expects to collect $7.2 billion in general tax revenues for the fiscal year.

The forecasters also are predicting modest growth in tax revenues for the next fiscal year that begins in July 2019.

But the picture is not completely rosy. State Budget Director Larry Campbell said the forecasters expect economic growth to slow in 2021.

Kelly promised during her successful campaign for governor to boost spending on public schools without increasing taxes.
3:13 p.m.
Kansas Gov.-elect Laura Kelly has pledged publicly to avoid increasing taxes but may have some leeway with voters.

She and other officials were waiting Friday for a new fiscal forecast for state government.

A majority of Kansas voters were at least somewhat supportive of increasing taxes to provide additional funds for public schools, according to AP VoteCast, a nationwide survey of about 139,000 voters and nonvoters.

The survey, conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago, included 3,963 voters and 780 nonvoters in Kansas.

Fifty-eight percent of voters said they strongly supported or somewhat supported raising taxes to boost education funding. A majority of them backed Kelly.

Forty-one percent strongly or somewhat opposed a tax increase. Roughly two-thirds of them backed conservative Republican Kris Kobach.

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