For the 2013 Legislative Session, Governor Sam Brownback proposed a two year budget including Fiscal Years 2014 and 2015.
"The Kansas economy is growing. My FY 2014 and 2015 budgets are crafted to bring long-term budget stability and economic prosperity through significant reform while maintaining the state's core responsibilities," Gov. Brownback said.
The governor's two year balanced budget focuses on efficiency and effectiveness and meets the 7.5% ending balances for Fiscal Years 2014 and 2015. It includes:
Funds the current school finance formula ($3838 BSAPP in FY 2014, $3852 in FY 2015) and increases total state funding for K-12 schools.
Maintains stable funding for higher education.
Provides $12 million for the Kansas Reads to Succeed initiative
Provides funding to educate 50 additional medical doctors every year at a new, state-of-the-art medical training building at the University of Kansas Medical Center.
Provides essential services for our most needy Kansans.
Funds a new crime lab & training facility for state's law enforcement at Washburn University.
Funds our state's infrastructure investments through T-WORKS.
The Governor felt it was imperative for the FY14/15 budget to maintain the state's most essential programs while emphasizing fiscal responsibility. This two year budget fully funds or increases funding for essential services while holding State General Fund expenditures below FY 2013's levels.
Part of the Governor's proposal includes taking the next step on the state's path to no state income tax. The Governor's proposed tax plan takes the state's bottom rate of 3.0% to 2.5% in tax year 2014 and then to 1.9% in tax year 2016. The current top rate of 4.9% goes to 3.5% in tax year 2017. The governor also proposes putting state revenue growth that exceeds 4 percent towards lowering rates quicker.
"This glide path to zero will not cut funding for schools, higher education or essential safety net programs. It will create jobs and opportunities in our state that the current generation has left for Texas or Florida to find," Brownback said.
In exchange for lower state income rates, Brownback proposes leaving the state sales tax flat at its current level and simplifying the tax code by eliminating the mortgage interest and real estate deductions. Only about 30% of Kansans itemize deductions when they file their taxes.
On January 1, 2013, the state income tax rates went from 3.5%, 6.25%, and 6.45% into a two-bracket system using rates of 3.0 and 4.9 percent. The standard deduction amount for single head-of-household filers increased from $4,500 to $9,000 and for married taxpayers filing jointly from $6,000 to $9,000.
Kansans can read more about the Governor's budget online at http://budget.ks.gov.