Total tax receipts at the end of March topped expectations. State revenue for the fiscal year reached $4.8 billion, or 16 percent more than last year’s state revenue at the same time.

March tax receipts came in $61 million over last March and $39.5 million above current expectations. Individual income tax collections in March were $77.9 million above last year. Sales tax receipts are up for the year by $38.4 million over last year.

The positive revenue news comes as lawmakers continue to debate a proposal to add $500 million in new spending to Kansas schools.

According to Kansas Secretary of Revenue Sam Williams, current revenues position the state well to meet year end estimates. He said much of the growth is due to state and federal tax policy changes.

“We won’t be able to distinguish any real economic growth until after the April 17th filing deadline,” Williams said in a press release.

When the state realized a $165 million bump in tax receipts in January, Williams warned lawmakers it wasn’t a windfall.

“The bottom line is we need to temper our expectations for the remaining months in the fiscal year,” he said in a press release issued in January. “…We cannot assume that the state genuinely will have more revenue by fiscal year end. This is not a windfall.”

To date, tax receipts are outpacing projections by $314.8 million. The fiscal year ends on June 30.

The positive revenue news comes as lawmakers continue to debate a proposal to add $500 million in new spending to Kansas schools. The additional money would be phased in by about $100 million per year. Some lawmakers argue that’s not enough additional funding to satisfy the state Supreme Court, which mandated legislators craft a new school financing mechanism by April 30.

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