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Today in Kansas Report: December 2, 2015

andy lambertDecember 2, 2015
Kansas collected about $8 million more in taxes last month than officials expected. The state revenue department had projected a take of $422 million but officials say it took in $430 million. Tax collections had fallen short of expectations the previous eight months.
Kansas officials still don’t know whether an amnesty program scooped up the $30 million in unpaid taxes that legislators anticipated. The revenue department says it is still processing applications for the amnesty offered for six weeks in September and October.
Shawnee Mission School District parents are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up their challenge of state limits on local school spending. The high court could soon decide whether to hear the case. A federal appeals court decision in June went again the district.
Kansas Congressman Kevin Yoder is co-authoring a bill designed to update a 30-year-old federal law to reflect today’s communications. It would require investigators to obtain a search warrant to get people’s old emails. Under current law, the government uses subpoenas to Internet service providers like Google or Yahoo to obtain emails older than 180 days. Search warrants are already generally required by service providers for more recent email content.
The nation’s net farm income is the lowest since 2002 and demand for agriculture loans is surging as farmers struggle to make ends meet. A recent report forecasts that U.S. farm debt will increase more than six percent this year. A banker says current grain prices bring in enough to cover operating costs but aren’t enough for farmers to make payments on equipment loans or pay themselves.
Figures have plunged in a fourth straight monthly survey of supply managers in Kansas and other Midwest and Plains states. A Creighton University economist in charge of the report again cites the strong U.S. dollar among the reasons for the region’s economic slide.

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