Kansas state revenue over the next two fiscal years should be $252.2 million more than had been expected, the Consensus Estimating Group said last week. The new outlook revises the official estimating group’s November 2011 report.

Lawmakers will rely on the panel’s prediction to reconcile the proposed budget for fiscal 2013 when they return to Topeka on April 25.

The revisions include $129.4 million of additional revenue in the current fiscal year and $122.8 million more in fiscal 2013, which begins July 1.

The revenue panel expects fiscal 2013 revenues to total $6.4 billion, an increase of 0.6% from the amended fiscal 2012 total of $6.38 billion. Revenues in fiscal 2012 should be 8.4% more than in fiscal 2011.

Income tax collections are expected to total $3.4 billion in fiscal 2013, up from $3.2 billion in fiscal 2012. Retail sales tax revenues are estimated at $2.2 billion in fiscal 2013 and $2.1 billion in fiscal 2012.

The outlook for revenue from oil and gas production is mixed. Collections from the severance tax on natural gas are expected to fall from $41 million in 2011 to $39.5 million this year and $27.3 million in fiscal 2013.

In contrast, the severance tax on crude oil is expected to generate $69.2 million in fiscal 2012, up from $57.4 million in fiscal 2011 and $74.5 million in fiscal 2013.

The Department of Revenue said total state collections in fiscal 2011 of $5.9 billion included $3 billion from the income tax and $2 billion from the sales tax.

Panelists include economists from three state universities, legislative fiscal experts, revenue department officials, and Gov. Sam Brownback’s top budget aide.

A Brownback spokeswoman said the higher revenue estimates will not lessen the governor’s efforts to reduce the state income tax rate while exempting almost 200,000 small businesses from the income tax. “Now is not the time to go back to wasteful spending,” Sherriene Jones-Sontag said.

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