The following editorial is attributed to Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka:
Hensley: Secretary of Revenue misleads Kansans
On Monday, Secretary of Revenue Sam Williams announced a revenue shortfall of nearly $12 million for the month of March, leaving the Kansas Legislature with a budget hole of nearly $300 million to fill before June 30.
In the statement released by the Department of Revenue, Williams indicated that he chose to withhold refunds for taxpayers claiming Earned Income Tax Credits and Additional Child Tax Credits until March – those who needed their refunds the most. By doing this, Williams inflated the revenue numbers for the months of January and February.
In other words, the Brownback administration once again misled Kansans by making revenue numbers appear to be better than they really are for the sake of continuing his reckless economic policies.
The Kansas Legislature is just days away from first adjournment, and the only thing these revenue numbers indicate is a need to pass a revenue package and balance the budget in a manner that allows everyone to pay their fair share.
A bill to adjust the current year’s budget is in negotiations, and action is likely to be taken this week. The Senate passed a budget last week, but it’s $400 million short without a revenue package. There are no tax plans in sight at this time, however. Additionally, we are still awaiting a school funding formula that provides more money to schools.
It’s time to end the misleading accounting gimmicks and Governor Brownback’s economic policies that have caused our state to go broke. It’s time to get to work implementing real solutions for Kansans.