January 14, 2013

Kansas Action for Children: The Kansas Budget Gap: How Did it Happen and Who Gets Hurt?

ITEP Work in Action

As is the case in any state, Kansas revenue and budget circumstances vary from year to year depending on a number of factors, including the health of the economy, the cost of providing state services and unforeseen expenses due to natural disasters or litigation. However, the budget shortfalls seen in Kansas recently are the result of more than just typical factors. The root of the problem is that the state tax structure is outdated to the extent that it no longer reflects the state’s economy and the revenues generated are insufficient to fund the state’s spending needs.

A budget gap, at its core, is comprised of two parts: revenues and expenditures. Kansas has been on a collision course for some time because of the combination of a decreasing tax base and increasing costs for services.