05 November 2021 | Tax and budget

Monthly revenues still strong ahead of November revenue estimating meeting

Karuva Kaseke
November 4, 2021

The task of providing projections for the upcoming legislative session falls on the Consensus Revenue Estimating (CRE) group, which is set to meet on November 10. Thanks in part to historic federal pandemic relief that kept businesses open and money in the hands of consumers, the Kansas budget (like many other states) is continuing to see large revenue surpluses. However, the future reliability of these gains is unknown, and the CRE group must factor this into its projections, which will set the tone for future policy decisions.

October tax receipts were $102.5 million higher, or 17.2 percent above, the $595.2 million projection, bringing the cumulative total receipts for the year to $2.32 billion – close to half a billion dollars over the estimate.

Individual income tax collections were $46.6 million, or 18.3 percent, more than the estimated $255 million in October. That is $17.9 million, or 6.3 percent, more than last year in October. Corporate income tax collections were $25.0 million over the projections with $40.0 million in revenue brought in for the month.

Retail sales tax collections were 8.4 percent or $17.7 million higher than estimates bringing in $227.7 million while compensating use tax collections were 22.9 percent or $12.6 million at a total of $67.6 million. Between these two components, collections were 12.8 percent higher this month than in October 2020.

Poor uses of the surplus should be rejected

Despite a strong recovery looking like a sure thing, the needs for Kansas families and communities continue to be extraordinary. Nearly one in four Kansans adults (23 percent) still report “ difficulty covering usual household expenses” according to a recent report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; seven percent of Kansas renters are behind on rent payments; and nine percent of Kansas households with children are not eating enough because they cannot afford it. The state surplus, along with federal relief dollars from ARPA, provide a monumental opportunity to begin reinvesting in a better economy and improved quality of life for all Kansans.

Throughout, the state must resist calls to squander the surplus on new tax cuts for the wealthy. Kansas needs a recovery plan with the ambition to meet the current and future crisis many workers and families are facing.

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