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2021 Legislator Briefing Book also has good value for taxpayers

2021 Legislator Briefing Book also has good value for taxpayers

Our 2021 Legislator Briefing Book is designed to give legislators and taxpayers a quick-reference guide that provides background and perspective on state spending, tax facts, economic conditions, and K-12 education.

It’s all government data, but much of it is hard to find.  And the data often contradicts what you’ve heard from media and government officials.  For example, there’s the myth that state spending in general and school funding, in particular, were significantly reduced under Gov. Sam Brownback; the official government data shows both hit record levels, but the facts contradict the narrative that some people want you to believe.

We call it a ‘book’ but it’s only 12 pages to keep to the ‘quick-reference’ model.  Much more information is available for anyone who wants to do a deeper dive.  Here’s the Table of Contents:

State Spending (pages 1-2)

  • General Fund spending
  • All Funds spending
  • Spending per resident compared to other states
  • Budget Profiles don’t follow state law

Tax Facts (pages 3-6)

  • Uncompetitive tax climate
  • National rankings
  • General Fund tax history
  • “What Was Really the Matter with the Kansas Tax Plan”
  • Property tax allocation
  • Property tax ‘honesty gap’
  • City and county property tax increases
  • Myth of the 3-legged stool

Economic Conditions (pages 7-8)

  • 5th-consecutive decade of economic stagnation
  • Employment declined in 2020
  • States that spend less, tax less…and grow more
  • Heavy dependence on jobs from new establishments
  • Studies show subsidy programs are not effective

K-12 Education (pages 9-12)

  • Achievement is persistently flat and lower than claimed
  • ACT college-readiness
  • Kansas is middle of the pack, not top ten as claimed
  • Spending more does not cause achievement to improve
  • State, federal, and local funding per student
  • Carryover cash reserves
  • Operating carryover ratio
  • School employment

Each section includes tables and charts that are good for sharing with constituents, colleagues, friends, and family.  Visit our education media library and our tax & spending media library to find what you need.

Much of the raw data – and a lot more not covered in the 2021 Legislator Briefing Book – can also be viewed or downloaded from our transparency site at KansasOpenGov.org.

A PDF of the 2021 Legislator Briefing Book follows and hard copies are available upon request.  We hope you find good value in this new publication and we encourage your feedback.

2021 Legislator Briefing Book