ANALYSIS: Conservatives Ready To Cut Kansas Budget

Conservative Republicans in Kansas are ready to squeeze state spending next year to close a budget shortfall that results from their push to cut taxes.

The GOP right will control the Kansas Legislature. Last week’s elections resulted in Republicans keeping majorities of 32-8 in the Senate and 92-33 in the House. And the Senate is far more conservative than it has been.

Lawmakers and conservative Republican Gov. Sam Brownback must tackle a projected $328 million gap between anticipated revenues and existing spending commitments for the fiscal year beginning in July 2013.

The projected shortfall results from massive income taxes enacted this year to stimulate the economy. Brownback promises to protect core services, but neither he nor his allies deny that a shrinking of government is part of their design.

  • My 2 Cents


    • american

      Ya good, the democrates will not own any of brownbacks mess and after everything goes to heck, maybe the reblicans will finaly learn there lesson. But don’t bet on it ,all of this just to save a few bucks on the middle class and lots of tax money for the rich and corporations

      • scratching head

        Have no fear @american, Barack O’Klaus will be sending a sleigh full of goodies. He will print some more dollars, sell them to the Chinese and send the cash to all of you blue folks. Hurry on down to the welfare office and the unemployment office and get in line. Your Barack O’Klaus sleight is due any moment. And don’t forget to ask for your free phone.

        • american

          don’t need any, i’ve had a good job for 42 years , been dept free 23. that leaves more free welfare for conservatives

      • My 2 cents

        You can always give more then your fair share.

  • Republicans!

    Here comes more cuts to the schools bugets!

    • ’bout time

      school could use a cut… much waste. Let them tighten the belt.

    • Truth sayer

      There is something wrong when it is cheaper to send a kid to KState for an engineering degree than to send a kid for1/2 day kindergarten.

      The school budget should be trimmed!

  • blueskansas

    Conservatives will own Kansas budget mess

    Last Tuesday afternoon, while a distracted public awaited the day’s election results, a group of Kansas officials announced that the state was about to fall into a deep financial hole.

    The numbers announced by the Consensus Estimating Group, while not unexpected, are shockingly bad. The state is projected to receive $707 million less in revenues next year than it is currently spending.

    Talk about a state of denial.

    Kansas’ financial wound is self-inflicted. Gov. Sam Brownback and conservatives in the Legislature this year sharply cut income tax rates, despite warnings that expected business growth could not make up for the lost revenue.

    The income tax cuts will cost the state about $400 million in next year’s budget, and $4.5 billion over the next six years.

    Compounding the immediate problem is the scheduled rollback of a one-cent sales tax increase that Brownback’s predecessor, Democratic Gov. Mark Parkinson, signed into law to get the state through the worst of the Great Recession. Unless the Legislature extends the sales tax, the state will lose $262 million a year beginning in July.

    The obvious fix is for Brownback and lawmakers to raise income tax rates when the Legislature resumes in January. But that is virtually certain not to happen.

    Apart from that, there are no good options. Here are some possibilities for what could be in store:

    • An extension of the entire one-cent sales tax. (Four-tenths will remain in any case, to fund highway projects.) Brownback has said he might recommend such a move, though many lawmakers are likely to object.

    Leaving the tax in place might be preferable to gutting schools and services, but sales taxes disproportionately hurt the poor and middle-income households. Make no mistake, if the tax increase stays on the books, Brownback will own it. His legacy will be to lower income tax rates for wealthier Kansans while raising the costs of goods and services for all the state’s residents.

    • Spending the reserve fund down to zero. Unlike many states, Kansas has no constitutional requirement to maintain a “rainy day” fund. Using the $470 million currently in the bank would provide a temporary partial fix, but for one year only. Kansas’ structural budget imbalance won’t go away unless the state finds more permanent sources of revenue. Eventually the imbalance and absence of a reserve fund could affect the state’s bond rating.

    • Borrowing from designated accounts, such as state highway fund. This is another one-time fix, and another sign of a state’s desperation.

    • More cuts. Conservatives say it can be done. But schools have been laying off employees and cutting programs for years. Kansas state employees are among the lowest-paid in the nation. The number of developmentally disabled Kansans awaiting services is close to 5,000.

    The state is failing to meet its responsibilities now.

    • Oh Boy!

      Nice cut and paste, troll!

      • blueskansas

        you are so welcome boy, hope you read the whole article.

    • reason

      It’s ok they are counting on the Federal government to make the gap in subsides… I can’t believe people vote for these idiots.

    • Ice Road Trucker

      Wow – a story from the Associated Depressed (AP) that there might be a hole in NEXT years budget, that Fiscal Year doesn’t start till next JULY! so including the rest of November the budget 9 months out “Might”have a gap.

      and the “Consensus Estimating Group” thinks it might be bigger than AP.

      USD305 has increased its budget by 15 million dollars/year over the past two years. from 105 million to 120 million. So more than 1million per year per school in Salina.
      The CUTS are a complete and outright LIE. Told by the NEA minions as a scare tactic.

      USD305 personnel
      Category Number Salary (avg)
      SalaryAdministrators (Certified/Non-Certified) 43. 96,484
      Teachers (Full Time) 597. 53,387
      Other Certified (Licensed) Personnel 123 59,451

  • Anonymous

    The state could make a WHOLE lot of money
    Just make farmers pay property tax on all that fancy farm machinery
    If they can afford a million dollars for tractors & combines
    They can afford 1 % to pay property tax
    They don’t need a new 50,000 dollar pickup every year

    • american

      Kind of sounds like obama plan, the well off paying a little more

    • Fred

      No name or brain.

      • Anonymous

        Sounds like Fred might be a farmer…..
        Like them subsidies , don’t you Fred ?
        Get off the gov teat buddy !

    • just the facts

      @ anonymous….you obviously don’t know anything about farming, or anything else.

      • american

        I notice at that site some one posted a while back that people i know that do not farm , have never farmed ,but inherited a piece of land , that they rent out , are collecting subsidies. A non farmer person should not collect subsidies, no way , no how.

  • babethebeagle

    If you think raising taxes is the best solution, there is always California, and you are free to join them.

    • american

      thats a chicken $hit answer , do you think you own kansas? to tell people to leave

  • Farmers Wife

    @ Anomymous why bite the hand that feeds you? I can tell you know nothing about operating a farm. Sure the equipment is expensive but most farmers I know just skid by especially these last two years. If we started doing that get ready to be hungry cause farmers can’t afford that and a drought at the same time.

    • Anonymous

      Most farmers I know are buying new equipment this year….
      Why ?
      So they don’t have to pay as much tax….
      Because they made too much this year

      • just the facts

        Typical uninformed liberal, you look around and see someone else has something you don’t or it looks like more than what you have and you think it should be yours. You have no idea what you’re talking about.

      • Ice Road Trucker

        The “Farmers you know” buying equipment would be Nobody!
        Talk to Straub and ask them how business is this year….or did you just read something from some blogger on daily Kos?

      • jimbo

        I hear they don’t pay sales tax on tractors, combines, etc. Hell, a $300,000.00 combine would yield how much sales tax?? Talk about ripping the state.

  • blueskansas
  • Farmers Wife

    I would love to know who these farmers are. Bunch of bs.

    • Anonymous

      Get out of your kitchen and take a drive….
      See those great big 4×4 tractors pulling those 50 ft disk ?
      Those cost a lot of money honey
      How come I pay tax on my 100,000 dollar home
      Yet no tax on his 300,000 dollar tractor ?

      • american

        with then bigger tractors they can get to town soomer to play cards at the barber shop

    • american

      maybe they are smarter farmers then your are, stop blowing your money at bingo

      • american

        and on boose

  • Anonymous

    and have you been up in ottowa, cloud and clay counties? farmers building huge houses……corporate welfare is all that is…..oh excuse me..”subsidies”