Kansas budget sees more cuts

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Gov. Mark Parkinson has been busy this month with the beginning of a new fiscal year. The numbers are in and being worked over as the 2009 fiscal year closes. Now, though, it seems that the budget has taken another hit for 2010.

“We had a budget set for 2010 and we were counting on a certain amount of revenue to start with,” said Duane Goossen, director of the budget for Kansas.

According to Goossen, the state brought in $150 million less than anticipated for 2009.

“The shortfall is income tax,” Goossen said, “a combination of people working less and making less. Also, because the stock market is down, people haven’t made money there, which does bring in a percentage of the revenue.”

Parkinson announced last week that a little more than $150 million in reductions has been applied to this year’s budget. Goossen said even though the state legislation is not in session, the governor has the power to go ahead and make these cuts.

With those reductions, the budget is balanced again. This year’s budget has been cut dramatically from last year’s spending.

According to a statement issued by Americans for Prosperity-Kansas in response to the governor’s budget cuts, Kansans are in a situation where the goal for today is to have an ending balance of zero.

AFP-Kansas State Director Derrick Sontag said that two years ago there was $934 million in the government account. Now, he is hoping for zero.

The AFP, which has been involved with two tax “tea parties” this year, is responsible for addressing public concern about the budget crisis.

“With this kind of financial picture, and with the assumption that tax revenue will not improve anytime soon, it’s our concern that some lawmakers during the 2010 legislative session will attempt to ask Kansas taxpayers for more in the form of tax increases,” Sontag said. “The drop-off in income tax collections is a signal that Kansas families and businesses are taxed enough already. Now is not the time to be increasing their tax burden.”

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