DALLAS — Kansas revenues came in $3.1 million above expectations in November, but the state still faces projected shortfalls of $279 million for this fiscal year and $436 million in the following year.
Revenue collections were $409 million in November, compared to budget projections of about $406 million.
"This is good news, particularly coupled with the positive unemployment numbers that came out earlier this month," Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan said in a written statement.
Corporate income tax receipts were $1 million over estimates, while individual income tax receipts were $3.8 million above estimates. Sales tax receipts fell $1 million short of estimates.
November's positive numbers followed an October in which revenues fell $23 million under budget.
When the state legislature convenes in January, lawmakers will be forced to deal with a shortfall in the current fiscal year and the one that begins July 1.
Re-elected Gov. Sam Brownback told the Wichita Eagle on Nov. 24 that he did not know before the election that the state would face a budget shortfall this fiscal year and that he is "looking at everything" to cover the gap.
Brownback, who spoke briefly to reporters while leaving a meeting of the State Finance Council, would not say whether he would make allotments, or spending cuts that do not require the Legislature's approval.
"We're looking at all factors — everything — spending a lot of time thinking about it, talking with the agencies and others," Brownback said. "We're looking at it all very thoroughly."
Democratic state Rep. Paul Davis, the House minority leader, made the budget problems the center of his unsuccessful campaign against Brownback.
Moody's Investors Service downgraded Kansas' general obligation debt to Aa2 from Aa1 on April 30, in part because tax cuts led to lower revenues. Standard & Poor's lowered the issuer credit rating to AA from AA-plus on Aug. 6 and retained a negative outlook.
Brownback has made tax cuts the hallmark of his administration, promising that revenues would increase as the economy improved.
In October, Kansas' unemployment rate did fall to 4.4% from the September reading of 4.7%. In October 2013 the jobless rate was 5.2%. While the labor force shrank by about 79 people compared to September, the rate appeared to fall because more people were working.