There are two separate state budgets; the General Fund and the All Funds Budget. General Fund spending is supported by tax and other revenue within the direct control of the Legislature; except for Motor Fuels tax and a portion of state sales tax that goes directly to the All Funds budget for transportation, taxes flow to the General Fund. The All Funds Budget includes the General Fund but it also contains revenue that cannot be used at the Legislature’s discretion. Examples of restricted revenues include fees paid to state licensing and regulatory boards, federal funds, college fees and tuition.
This section is primarily focused on General Fund tax and spending issues, including historical comparisons to inflation, allocations to education and other functions, comparisons to other states and key elements of income tax reform.
The FY 2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) from the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) shows spending on transportation projects in 2015 and 2016 was the highest over the last ten years. Excluding debt service and administration, spending was $1.105 billion in FY 2015 and $1.069 billion last year. The condition of Interstate highways and […]
Is it true that making small businesses pay income tax would allow a lot more spending on education, highways and other services? The Department of Revenue says reinstating the tax on pass-through income and their loss carryforward capability would generate between $195 million and $200 million. But as explained here that would only help get the […]
Data provided by the Kansas Department of Revenue shows 71 percent of net income tax reductions went to individuals and 29 percent is attributable to the exemption on pass-through business income. Their information is based on the 2013 tax year so even if the tax savings was the same each year, individual tax filers […]
Contrary to many claims over the last few years, General Fund spending actually increased in 2014 and then again in 2015 when spending set a new record. Spending did decline in 2016 by less than one percent and is budgeted to set another new record this year. Spending is also running well ahead of long […]
It may be intuitive to think that states like Texas and Florida can avoid an income tax because they have a lot of oil and tourism, but that’s not the case. Texas and Florida could have all the oil and tourism in the nation and still have a high tax burden if they chose to […]
Even though income taxes were reduced on all individuals, General Fund tax revenue is still running well ahead of long term inflation. (Almost all state tax revenue goes to the General Fund, except for motor fuels tax and a portion of general sales tax transferred to the another fund.) The adjacent chart compares General Fund […]
The most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that Kansas is ranked #7 among the states for share of total school funding being provided by state government. The Census report includes all state funding, not just the amount provided through the General Fund. The 2014 funding reported by KSDE did not include $522.5 […]
Education, which includes K-12 (50.7 percent) and higher education (12.3 percent), will consume 63 percent of the General Fund budget. Human Services accounts for the second largest piece (25.7 percent) and the remaining 11.3 percent is divided between Public Safety, General Government, Agriculture and Transportation. Most transportation funding is in a different budget. See Schedule […]
Is it true that over $1 billion of our tax dollars went to other states because Kansas didn’t expand Medicaid? No. That would only be true if the federal government set a pool of money aside for expansion and divided it among participating states, but Congress didn’t do that. No ‘extra’ money went to states […]