New Fiscal Forecast Brings Out Different Ideas

A new Kansas fiscal forecast predicted that inflation will boost state tax collections more than previously expected, intensifying the dispute between Governor Laura Kelly and the Legislature over how to cut taxes.

Legislators also are likely to face increased pressure to add new spending to what already is set to be a relatively generous, $22 billion-plus state budget for the 12 months beginning July 1.

The forecasters increased their projections for tax collections through June 2023 by $760 million.

Their new projections are 4.6% higher than a forecast issued in November for the 2022 budget year that ends June 30, and 3.8% higher for the 2023 budget year.

Tax collections had run ahead of expectations for each of the past 20 months.

Both the head of the Legislature’s research staff and the governor’s budget director said inflation – at its highest level since the early 1980s – is responsible for much of the newly anticipated growth in tax collections.