TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas officials on Wednesday issued a new and far more optimistic fiscal forecast forecast for state government, increasing their projections for tax collections by $1.3 billion for the current budget year.
The new forecast increased the state's projections for its tax collections for the 2022 fiscal year that began July 1 by 17.1% to $8.9 billion. The previous projections were made in April.
The forecasters also projected modest growth in tax collections of 3.2% for the 2023 budget year, an increase of $288 million, to nearly $9.2 billion.
The new numbers come with Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly and members of the Republican-controlled Legislature already planning to pursue tax cuts next year. Kelly has proposed eliminating the state's 6.5% sales tax on groceries, which could save consumers roughly $450 million a year.
Legislators and other officials had expected a more optimistic forecast because tax collections have been higher than expected for 15 consecutive months and for all but three months during the past four years. From July 1 through Oct. 31, tax collections were 18.9% more than anticipated, creating a $440 million surplus. The new numbers account for that surplus.
The forecasters are legislative researchers, state Department of Revenue officials, members of the governor's staff and university economists.