Kansas tax receipts fell $53 million short of estimates in February, and Gov. Sam Brownback on Tuesday immediately announced a $17 million cut to the state’s university system.
The latest revenue results are a dramatic blow to recent moves by the Legislature to shore up the state budget.
Individual income tax revenue last month was about $27 million below projections, and sales tax receipts missed estimates by about $12 million, according to the state’s Department of Revenue. Corporate income taxes were $7.7 million below estimates.
Brownback and his allies have tried to offer excuses for why revenues keep coming in under projections:
Brownback said the state’s budget problems reflect economic woes, not tax policy problems. He said he would focus on managing spending, not on raising taxes.
“Our tax policy has been instrumental in creating more than 80,000 jobs since we took office and has resulted in a record number of Kansans working,” Brownback said in a written statement. “These numbers reflect a declining national and regional economy.”
The problem with this excuse (aside from the fact that I'm not sure what exactly he means by the national economy "declining") is that this recent report isn't some weird, isolated incident. Revenues have constantly come in under projections since Brownback signed his tax cuts into law.
This isn't surprising because tax cuts almost always result in LESS revenue, not MORE. Even the mighty Ronald Reagan, who, as we all know, provided us the greatest economic growth in the history of civilization, wasn't able to achieve increased revenues when he enacted his tax cuts in the 80s. If even if the mighty Ronaldus Magnus couldn't achieve such a feat, what makes Brownback - or any other lowly conservative politician for that matter - think he could succeed?