News Briefs

Kansas collects $176.3M more than expected in April taxes

By: - May 2, 2022 4:02 pm
Gov. Laura Kelly says April tax collections show the state can afford to reduce the state sales tax on food in July instead of waiting until January. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Gov. Laura Kelly says April tax collections show the state can afford to reduce the state sales tax on food in July instead of waiting until January. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — Kansas tax collections for April exceeded forecasts by $176.3 million, the state announced Monday.

The surplus mostly came from high-than-expected individual income tax returns, which beat revenue projections. Those projections had just been adjusted April 20 by $178 million. The roughly $1 billion collected in individual income taxes was more than double the $487 million collected in April 2021.

Gov. Laura Kelly said the revenue figures indicate the state can afford to immediately begin to reduce the 6.5% state sales tax on food. Previously, she said she will sign legislation passed last week that would lower the tax rate in January and phase it out completely by 2025.

“These tax collection receipts reiterate the state’s fiscal health, and clearly shows we can afford to move up the ‘axe the food tax’ implementation date to July 1 of this year,” Kelly said. “I’m calling on the Kansas Legislature to do so as soon as they come back later this month.”

The Legislature is scheduled to return May 23.

Retail sales tax collections also exceeded revenue projections by $8.7 million, while other streams of revenue fell short of the estimate — including the compensating use tax paid by out-of-state retailers, which came up $7.5 million short.

Liquor, gas and oil excise taxes were down a combined $2.3 million from the estimate. Agency earnings were down an additional $2.3 million.

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Sherman Smith
Sherman Smith

Sherman Smith is the 2021 and 2022 Kansas Press Association’s journalist of the year. He has written award-winning news stories about the instability of the Kansas foster care system, misconduct by government officials, sexual abuse, technology, education, and the Legislature. He previously spent 16 years at the Topeka Capital-Journal. A lifelong Kansan, he graduated from Emporia State University in 2004 as a Shepherd Scholar with a degree in English.

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