- Associated Press - Friday, January 8, 2016

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A tax amnesty program designed to help balance the Kansas budget has generated only about three-quarters of what lawmakers expected.

The program brought in about $23 million, which fell about $7 million short of the $30 million that was anticipated, The Topeka Capital-Journal (bit.ly/1ZQXaez) reported.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, provided to the newspaper the numbers, which matched what House Tax Committee chairman Marvin Kleeb said he understood had been collected.

The Legislature and Gov. Sam Brownback passed the amnesty program last spring as part of a massive revenue package to raise $400 million to balance the state budget. The program ran from Sept. 1 through Oct. 15.

Kleeb, an Overland Park Republican, said the program was successful, despite falling short of the estimate. But Hensley described the lower-than-predicted estimates as “another example of budget mismanagement by the Brownback administration.”

Neither Brownback’s office nor the Department of Revenue has publicly announced the amnesty collections. Approached for comment, the governor’s office didn’t dispute the figures provided by Hensley.

“The tax amnesty collection program has successfully collected millions of dollars in delinquent and outstanding owed taxes,” Brownback spokeswoman Eileen Hawley said.

Hensley said the haul potentially adds up to $7 million to the state’s budget shortfall, but Hawley said the collections had already been calculated into recent revenue projections.

In November, officials slashed Kansas revenue projections for the current fiscal year by $159 million, prompting budget cuts and fund transfers.

The amnesty program collected the most in corporate income taxes, gathering about $17.5 million. About $4.2 million was collected in individual income taxes. The program received $890,768 in sales taxes, $221,160 in withholding taxes and $103,165 in retailer’s use taxes. The program collected $85,411 in consumers use tax.

All other collections from amnesty numbered in the low thousands.

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Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, https://www.cjonline.com


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