Kansas Secretary of Revenue Joan Wagnon gave a keynote speech last week at Wichita State University where she said that her staff calculated that without the tax cuts and exemptions passed by the legislature since 1995, Kansas would have $1 billion more in revenue this year. And that, interestingly is the amount of the state's expected shortfall for fiscal year 2010. Wagnon went on to say, "It's hard to get that lesson across that you can't keep doing tax cuts and waiting for it to produce more revenue, because at this point, it's producing less revenue."
Wagnon hopes that this staggering figure will be at the forefront of legislators' minds as they are approached to pass various tax exemptions this coming session. Her office has prepared a 21 question piece designed to help legislators evaluate exemptions. State officials across the country could learn from Wagnon when she says, "It just seems so obvious to me that in a time of crisis, you don't give away your revenues."