It took 99 days (nine more than the 90-day allotment and 19 more than legislative leaders said would be needed) for lawmakers to agree to set the state sales tax at 6.15 percent instead of allowing it to fall to 5.7 percent on July 1 as promised, our editorial Tuesday noted. Along with a phasedown of income-tax deductions, the tax increase is expected to raise about $777 million over the next five years. The extra revenue will help cover the shortfall created by last year's tax cuts, but it won't eliminate the state's budget problems. Estimates show the state burning through its cash balances by 2018. And that doesn't factor in the likelihood that the Kansas Supreme Court will order an increase in K-12 funding of about $500 million.
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