Declining Revenues Prompt Concerns

Kansas legislators are concerned about lower-than-anticipated sales tax collections by the state over the past few months.

A budget study committee’s members quizzed legislative staff members Monday about possible explanations.

Possibilities they discussed included online sales, a softness in the national economy and Kansas City-area consumers driving to Missouri to make purchases.

Republican Sen. Jim Denning of Overland Park said that if collections follow current trends, sales tax revenues will fall short of expectations by between $30 million and $50 million for the fiscal year that began last month.

Legislators in June approved a plan to avert a budget deficit that increased the state’s sales tax to 6.5 percent from 6.15 percent. The increase took effect in July.