Kansas tax revenue in December surpasses estimate by $64 million


TOPEKA — Supercharged revenue collections in December by the state Department of Revenue exceeded the monthly estimate by $64 million to expand the cash cushion available for tax reductions or spending investments by the 2022 Legislature and Gov. Laura Kelly.

In the initial six months of the current fiscal year, the state treasury in Kansas deposited $4.28 billion from sources ranging from income and sales assessments to taxes on oil, tobacco and liquor. That has resulted in an unexpected mid-year addition of $83 million to the state treasury beyond the bullish estimate most recently updated in November.

Kelly has recommended lawmakers use the reserves to eliminate the state sales tax on groceries at an annual cost of at least $400 million to the state. She also proposed a one-time, $445 million tax rebate delivering $250 each to about 1.2 million Kansans.

“Over the past three years my administration has taken steps to restore the Kansas economy, and that fiscal responsibility has paved the way to provide direct tax relief to Kansas taxpayers,” said Kelly, a Democrat seeking re-election in November.

House and Senate GOP leaders indicated they were interested in considering bills featuring broad tax rate reductions.

The Department of Labor reported total tax collections in December were $890 million. That was 7.8% higher than projected for the month by economists and state officials on the Consensus Estimating Group. The state’s December tally was $120 million or 15% greater than collections in December 2020.

The three largest categories of state tax revenue exceeded expectations in December. In terms of individual income taxes, the state took in $355 million, which was $35 million more than anticipated for the month. Corporate income tax payments tallied $132 million for the month, $22 million above the projection. Sales tax revenue to the state reached $224 million last month to climb $4 million over the prediction.

The revenue department documented a 23% surge in cigarette tax collections of $10 million in December. Liquor taxes met expectations of $10 million. The severance tax on oil and gas generated nearly $6 million in revenue — about $1 million more than projected for the month.

Kansas Reflector is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Kansas Reflector maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Sherman Smith for questions: Follow Kansas Reflector on Facebook and Twitter.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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