Kansas reports September tax surplus

TOPEKA — Kansas reported Thursday that it collected $3 million more in taxes than anticipated in September, and Gov. Mark Parkinson called the slight revenue surplus "extremely encouraging."

It was the third consecutive month the state met or surpassed its projections. Tax collections since the fiscal year began July 1 were almost $38 million more than anticipated.

This year's trend contrasts sharply with slumping revenues last year, which forced the state to make multiple rounds of budget cuts. Parkinson successfully pushed this year for an increase in the state sales tax to forestall deeper reductions.

"We should expect that our economic recovery will have bumps in the road along the way, but today's news is extremely encouraging and indicates that our state's economy is stabilizing," Parkinson said in a written statement.

The state Department of Revenue released preliminary figures showing that Kansas collected $529 million in taxes in September, compared to the $526 million it expected — a difference of 0.6 percent.

For the first quarter of the 2011 fiscal year, the state collected $1.32 billion in revenues, against an estimate of $1.28 billion. The surplus was 2.9 percent.

Tax collections rebounded from the first quarter of fiscal 2010, when they were $1.19 billion, or nearly 11 percent lower than during the first quarter of the current fiscal year.

But in September, sales and individual income taxes actually fell short of expectations by a combined $5 million, or 1.2 percent. The state had expected to take in $429 million from those sources and collected $424 million.

Still, that shortfall was offset by surpluses in corporate income and franchise taxes.