04 January 2021 | Tax and budget

As session draws near, revenue holds up

Emily Fetsch
Jan. 4, 2021

The Kansas Legislature will kick off the 2021 session in one week. The state’s most recent monthly revenue estimate, reporting on December 2020 incoming revenue, shows Kansas is ahead of estimates as we head into the session.

Total taxes brought in so far this fiscal year are $4.18 billion, slightly above the estimate of $4.11 billion. Total receipts brought in for this fiscal year are $4.14 billion, slightly above the estimate of $4.06 billion. For December 2020, in particular, total taxes were $770 million, above the estimate of $706 million, while the total receipts were $767 million compared with the anticipated $701 million.

Although Kansas is bringing in more revenue than anticipated, the COVID-19 pandemic has created many additional needs. Although the U.S. Congress recently passed another bill to address COVID-19 economic needs, it once again failed to provide direct aid to state and local governments to address budget concerns.

However, Kansas lawmakers can bolster revenue during the next session. In 2021, Kansas lawmakers can:

  • Generate revenue needed to invest in Kansas communities by closing loopholes and ending tax breaks for the wealthy, special interests, and out-of-state corporations 
  • Add a fourth individual income tax bracket for Kansas’ highest income earners to clean up the tax code so that everyone, including those at the top, pays their fair share
  • Modernize Kansas’ tax code, level the playing field for Kansas businesses, and find a sustainable and renewable source of needed revenue through enacting legislation to collect sales tax from marketplace facilitators and on digital goods 
  • Scale back tax expenditures through sunsets, cost caps, or evaluations to increase transparency, measure effectiveness, and ensure a return on investment from economic development tools.
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