State’s to-do list is long

By

Opinion

April 18, 2018 - 11:00 PM

The Kansas tax experiment, which played out from 2012 through 2017, deeply damaged Kansas finances. Income tax cuts choked revenue to the general fund and created a multi-year budget crisis. In 2017, lawmakers reversed much of the tax experiment, but many steps remain to be completed before Kansas returns to financial health:

Structurally balance the general fund

Recurring revenue — regular, ongoing general fund income — must equal or exceed expenses. The 2012 tax cuts caused four years of serious structural deficits. In those years, the gap between income and expense was bridged by drawing reserve funds down to zero, transferring money from other funds, borrowing, and delaying bill payment. Action during the 2017 legislative session to reverse tax cuts brought the general fund much closer to structural balance, but lawmakers are still depending on large transfers from the highway fund to pay expenses.

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