Opinion Columns & Blogs

Revenue forecasters weren’t pessimistic enough

In April, when state revenue forecasters lowered their estimates for tax collections by $98 million, several GOP lawmakers speculated that collections wouldn’t be that bad. Rep. Mark Hutton, R-Wichita, suggested the estimators were “a little bit gun-shy about their projections,” because they had badly missed earlier estimates. But it turns out they weren’t pessimistic enough. June tax collections were $22 million less than the revised estimates, and total collections for this past fiscal year came in $32.8 million less than the lowered estimates. Lawmakers and Gov. Sam Brownback should be very worried about whether the decline will continue, especially when the current fiscal year’s budget has no margin for error. – Phillip Brownlee