The fiscal 2013 spending plan outlined last week by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback would use $70 million of gambling revenue from two new casinos for debt service or early retirement of state bonds.
The proposal would dedicate $10 million of the new gambling revenue to support bonds used to build a new parking garage at the state capitol complex in Topeka.
The money would come from the state’s portion of gambling income from a new casino in Sedgwick County that opened in December and one set to open next month near Kansas City.
Brownback’s plan would also make permanent a sales-tax hike approved in 2010 that was to be temporary.
The sales tax was increased to 6.3% from 5.3% in July 2010, but was slated to drop back to 5.7% in July 2013.
Kansas budget director Steve Anderson told the Senate Ways and Means Committee and the House Appropriations Committee that the spending plan contained, for the first time, a five-year budget outline as recommended by the Government Accounting Standards Board.
He said the long-term financial outlook would improve planning by state agencies.
Sen. John Vratil, R-Leawood, vice president of the Senate, questioned the validity of long-term revenue projections.
“Projecting out five years is virtually impossible and useless, because you don’t have any facts to base your projections on,” Vratil said. “It’s not just difficult. It’s virtually impossible.”
The five-year outlook predicts general fund revenues of $6.9 billion in fiscal 2018, up from $6 billion in fiscal 2012 despite a series of tax cuts proposed by Brownback in last week’s state of the state address.
Anderson said the projected increase in revenues could result in the elimination of the state’s personal income tax within six years without further harming the budget.