puzzle-head

Build the 2015 state budget and solve the imbalance between revenue and spending. Cut taxes or raise them. Increase spending or downsize government. This is your chance to show policymakers how you want it done.

Government budgets are serious things. They are the way we set priorities. Like puzzles, budgets have multiple pieces that fit together to complete a picture. The budget puzzle gives you a chance to paint the picture you want for Kansas by figuring out how to fit together limited resources with desired spending.

How to work the puzzle:
Make a decision in each revenue and expenditure category by selecting one item from each of the drop-down boxes. Or write in your own choice. The total of your revenue and expenditure choices will show up in the columns below. The numbers in the puzzle are virtually the same as the real numbers in the State General Fund. Each number represents millions of dollars. If you want more information about the choices you will be making, pause your cursor over the question mark next to each title and a text box will appear.

Note: Your decisions are not stored by this website. To save your budget, click 'Print your results' below the puzzle, and select print or save as PDF.

The Kansas Budget Puzzle
All number values are dollars in millions
Expenditure Choices
(dollars in Millions)
K-12 Education ? $3016
This amount reflects all of the State General Fund payments to local school districts for general state aid, special education, transportation, and to make retirement contributions for teachers.
Higher Education ? $751
This amount is the block grant given to the Board of Regents to support the operations of the Regents universities, Washburn University and community colleges.
Medicaid ? $1261
This item reflects spending for public health insurance programs for low-income children, families and elderly, and people with disabilities. Services covered include physical health care from clinics, doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and dentists and behavioral health care from community providers. Medicaid also is a primary payer for long-term care services, such as nursing facilities and home- and community-based services.
Health Agencies/State Hospitals ? $421
This category includes the non-Medicaid programs within the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, Department of Health and Environment, and Department on Aging.
Public Safety ? $381
This category includes funding for adult corrections through eight state prisons and community diversion programs, juvenile corrections through two state facilities and community programs. Direct state law enforcement through the Kansas Highway Patrol and Kansas Bureau of Investigation is in this category, along with the state defense roles of the Adjutant General.
All Other Agencies ? $289
This category contains state funding for all other agencies, including the offices of elected officials and the Legislature and the Departments of Revenue, Administration, Commerce and Labor. The agencies involved in promoting and regulating agriculture, wildlife conservation, water and the environment are in this category as well.
Write your own item
$
Revenue Choices
(dollars in Millions)
Sales Tax ? $2515
The state collects tax on sales at retail stores and for certain services. Local units of government also may charge sales taxes in addition to the state rate. The current state rate is 6.1 percent.
Corporate Income Tax ? $380
Corporate income taxes in Kansas are based on the reported federal taxable income. Rates start at 4.0 percent for the first $50,000 of income and 7.0 percent over that amount.
Income Tax ? $2525
The income tax in Kansas is based on a family's federally adjusted gross income. The 2012 and 2013 Legislatures adopted reductions in the income tax by exempting some income from taxation, reducing the number of brackets, and lowering the tax rates from 3% to 2.3% and 4.9% to 3.9% over time.
Liquor/Tobacco Taxes ? $194
Liquor tax is charged at the rate of 10 percent on gross receipts from the sale of liquor by clubs, caterers and drinking establishments. Only 25 percent of the proceeds go to the State General Fund. The rest goes to local governments or alcohol abuse treatment programs. Tobacco taxes are collected by the pack from cigarette distributers or by gross sales of other tobacco products. The current per-pack rate is 79 cents.
Severance Taxes ? $135
Severance taxes are based on the amount of production from oil and gas wells. Revenues tend to increase with the price of oil and natural gas.
All other revenues ? $168
This includes other sources of State General Fund revenue not counted in the other categories, including insurance premium taxes, corporate franchise, motor carrier property tax and agency earnings. Also in this category are transfers into and out of the State General Fund, such as the transfer to school districts for building projects or transfers in from other agency cash balances.
Write your own item
$
My results
Expenditure Results
Expenditure Choices Starting Budget Your Choices
K-12 Education: Repeat previous year ($0) $3016 $0
Higher Education: Repeat previous year ($0) $751 $0
Medicaid: Repeat previous year ($0) $1261 $0
Health Agencies/State Hospitals: Repeat previous year ($0) $421 $0
Public Safety: Repeat previous year ($0) $381 $0
All Other Agencies: Repeat previous year ($0) $289 $0
Totals $0 $0
Revenue Results
Revenue Choices Starting Budget Your Choices
Sales Tax: Use Consensus Revenue Estimate ($0) $2515 $0
Corporate Income Tax: Use Consensus Revenue Estimate ($0) $380 $0
Income Tax: Use Consensus Revenue Estimate ($0) $2525 $0
Liquor/Tobacco Taxes: Use Consensus Revenue Estimate ($0) $194 $0
Severance Taxes: Use Consensus Revenue Estimate ($0) $135 $0
All other revenues: Use Consensus Revenue Estimate ($0) $168 $0
Totals $0 $0
My Results Summary
Budget Choices Totals
Beginning Balance (fixed value, defined in the database) $530
My Revenues
Total Available (Beginning Balance plus My Revenues)
My Expenditures
Ending Balance (Total Available minus My Expenditures)