TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas reported Friday that tax collections for its just-concluded 2021 budget year were 9.3% more than anticipated, giving the state its healthiest cash reserves in more than 40 years as the U.S. economy recovers from COVID-19.
The state Department of Revenue’s report was certain to spark a push next year in the Republican-controlled Legislature to cut taxes again after GOP lawmakers enacted income tax reductions earlier this year over Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto. As a sign of a solid economy, the numbers also are likely to spur more pressure from Republicans and business groups on Kelly to end the $300 a week in extra unemployment benefits allowed by the latest federal COVID-19 relief law.
But a solid economy also could help Kelly as she seeks re-election next year. She won the office in 2018 after making a key issue of the persistent budget problems that followed a nationally notorious experiment in 2012 and 2013 in slashing income taxes under former Republican Gov. Sam Brownback. In the four years since most Brownback-era cuts were repealed, the state has exceeded tax-collection targets in all but three months.