Cause of Kansas budget gap is spending


Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson says Kansas has a $400 million budget gap, and he’s proposed increasing sales and cigarette taxes to close it.

The source of nearly all this gap is the governor’s proposal for increased spending in the fiscal year 2011 budget. State general fund spending for FY 2010 — that’s the current budget year we’re a little more than halfway through — is estimated to be $5,451.1 billion, according to the governor’s budget report release a few weeks ago.

For FY 2011, the governor proposes to spend $5,831.1 billion, which is $380 million more than spending this year.

There’s nearly all the $400 million gap right there.

Revenue is projected to fall next year by $122 million, according to the budget report.

If we could hold spending steady for next year — and remember that inflation is running at very low levels — we could get by without a tax increase. If the governor and the legislature would consider tapping some of the available Kansas fund balances, we could even increase spending without tax increases.


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