State revenue dropping by $1 billion over two years

The state’s new revenue estimates released last week show the stark budget challenge facing the state – how to cover the loss of nearly $1 billion of revenue over two years, mostly due to the tax cuts signed by Gov. Sam Brownback and the scheduled reduction in the statewide sales-tax rate. Actual revenue receipts in fiscal year 2012 were $6.4 billion. The new revenue estimate for next fiscal year is $5.45 billion. That drop is considerably more than what occurred during the Great Recession, when revenue dropped by $618 million over a three-year period, according to former state budget director Duane Goossen. Federal stimulus money helped offset a significant amount of that drop. Another big difference between then and now: The previous budget problems were triggered by a global economic crisis that was beyond our control; the current shortfall is self-inflicted.