Brownback’s budget misses the mark

A blog by former Kansas Budget Director Duane Goossen

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Duane Goossen served as the Kansas Budget Director for 12 years in the administrations of three governors — Republican Bill Graves and Democrats Kathleen Sebelius and Mark Parkinson.)

What to do? Income to the Kansas general fund has fallen so low that it no longer comes close to supporting normal, reasonable expenses, and the bank account is empty.

The governor (Sam Brownback) has sent the Legislature a proposed budget to address the situation, but his recommended solutions do not strike at the cause of the crisis.

Here’s the problem: Kansas general fund expenses currently total about $6.4 billion, and those expenses are growing. They will continue to grow. To cover expenses, Kansas needs a revenue stream that is also at least $6.4 billion and growing. But the Brownback tax policies, put in place in 2012 and 2013, cut income tax receipts dramatically. The governor’s own Department of Revenue estimates the loss of income tax revenue to be $886 million in this fiscal year, and more next year. As a result, overall general fund revenue has fallen below $5.8 billion. Under current policy, prospects for that income stream to increase remain slim.

To read the entire blog, click here.

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