TOPEKA — Income and sales tax collections by the Kansas treasury during February surpassed experts’ predictions, and the bottom line has been buoyed by a $15 million surge in payment of delinquent taxes.
Total tax collections in February hit $448 million, or $63 million more than analysts’ projection for the month. Receipts were $66 million, or 17% greater than in February 2019.
Overall, the state cumulatively has banked $154 million more in tax revenue than anticipated in the fiscal year that began in July. The fiscal year total is $309 million higher than receipts at this time last fiscal year.
Revenue from delinquent tax collections has risen to $113 million, compared to $96 million a year ago.
The latest report from the Kansas Department of Revenue arrived before the Legislature convened Wednesday for the second half of the session. GOP leadership plan to aggressively seek action on property, income and sales tax reform.
“Everything has to be measured,” said Rep. Steven Johnson, an Assaria Republican who chairs the House Tax Committee. “We still want to look at what is good, consistent tax policy.”
The Kansas Senate approved a bill mandating city and county governments publicize and vote on property tax revenue increases based on rising property valuations. Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, said that transparency bill was certain to reach the governor’s desk.
House Speaker Ron Ryckman, R-Olathe, said the House would consider tax bills in terms of what had support of 84 representatives so the chamber held a veto-proof majority. Last year, Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed a pair of income tax overhaul bills that were a priority of House and Senate Republicans.
The revenue department said individual income tax collection in February was $30 million above the estimate of $171 million — a surge of 27% compared to last February. Corporate income taxes were 10% above the estimate for a February-to-February increase of $3 million.
Last month, retail sales tax collections were $2.9 million, or 1.6% more than projected at $177 million. This was 5.3% over February 2019.
State tax collections have surpassed estimates in 32 of the 33 months since the 2017 Legislature repealed then-Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax cuts.