DALLAS -- Kansas fell $1.7 million short of its revenue estimates in March, leaving revenues for the fiscal year $83 million short of expectations, according to the Kansas Department of Revenue.
"After a weak month in February, withholding rebounded in March but not quite as strongly as anticipated," said Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan. "While corporate income, sales and use tax receipts are up, oil severance payments are down. It is a trend that is contributing to a sluggish economy in many rural counties which depend heavily on oil and commodities."
March revenues were a big improvement over February when they came in $53 million below projections.
March sales tax receipts were $5.9 million more than expected, use tax receipts were up $3.1 million and corporate income tax receipts were $1.5 million higher than projected, according to the April 1 report.
Insurance premiums were $6.7 million more than anticipated, Jordan said.
Individual income tax receipts fell short of projections by $14.4 million.
While revenue collections from all sources exceeded estimates by $13 million, $15.2 million of that is due to transfers approved in the budget that have yet to be incorporated into consensus revenue estimates, Jordan said.
Total tax receipts for the fiscal year through March are $4.1 billion or $81.3 million below estimates, which is $53.1 million more than the previous fiscal year-to-date, Jordan said.
After 12 months of seeing revenues fall below projections, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has called for a retooling of the estimating system. As the major proponent of tax cuts, Brownback has been on the defensive for the past two years as state revenues lagged projections.
Kansas has struggled to balance its budget since cutting personal income taxes dramatically in 2012 and 2013 to stimulate the economy.
"This is an economic problem, not a tax policy problem," Brownback said in response to the revenue report. Brownback blames the state's long-term fiscal crisis on the economic policies of President Obama.
The $16 billion budget approved by lawmakers for the fiscal year beginning in July would leave the state with less than $50 million in cash reserves at the end of June 2017, according to analysts.