Kansas Job Growth Rank Improves Post-Tax-Relief

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Kansas job growth rank is still better since the 2012 tax relief effort despite ongoing challenges in oil, agriculture and aerospace according to 2016 data just released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  Kansas was ranked #40 among the states for Private Nonfarm job growth between 1998 and 2012 but has moved up to #37 in the four years since … Read More

Tax Cuts and the Kansas Economy

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Challenges in the Kansas economy over the last few years have often been blamed on tax cuts, but such simplistic arguments are based on a logical fallacy – ‘A’ happened and ‘B’ happened, so ‘A’ caused ‘B’.  Attempting to ‘connect the dots’ in this manner may seem sensible (or even convenient for those who prefer higher taxes) but most often … Read More

Pretty Prairie Residents Reject Property Tax Hike

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

A Hutchinson News report stating “Voters in Pretty Prairie soundly defeated a ballot question that would have authorized higher property taxes this fall to support the 2018 city budget” marks a significant victory for voter empowerment in Kansas.  Legislation passed in 2016 allows citizens to begin voting this year on whether, with many exceptions, property taxes should be increased above … Read More

Are you ready for another tax increase?

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Unless legislators change their tax-and-spending-spree ways, Kansans have another big tax increase coming in the near future.  The nearly $500 million spending increase just approved for fiscal years 2017 through 2019 pushes General Fund spending to $6.609 billion; that’s $1.3 billion more than if spending had just been increased for inflation since FY 1995. Kansas Legislative Research Department says the … Read More

Good News in Kansas City Star

Dave TrabertEducation, Tax & Spending

Yes, you read that headline correctly.  The Kansas City Star published an editorial last week calling for the ‘pause’ button to be pressed on the battle over school funding.  They said, “…it may be time for the state and the judges to pause for a year or two to see if the $488 million infusion, coupled with a new formula … Read More

Kansas Legislature Lifetime Freedom Index Released

Dave TrabertResearch, Tax & Spending

Kansas Policy Institute’s 2017 Lifetime Freedom Index released last week again reinforces legislators’ support for economic freedom and student-focused education are not determined by party affiliation, with significant disparity between high and low scores among Republicans in the House and Senate.  With 50 percent considered ‘neutral’ (i.e., just as likely to vote in favor as to oppose), the Senate range … Read More

Legislature moves away from freedom in 2017 session

James FrankoResearch, Tax & Spending

The 2017 legislative session was noteworthy both for its length and for the relative opposition to economic and educational freedom in the 2017 session, according to KPI’s annual Kansas Freedom Index. Taken as a whole, the legislature moved away from freedom and the principles of liberty in the just-completed session when compared to returns since 2012, when KPI first published … Read More

Legislators Don’t Like Being Called Out for State Spending Hike

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Governor Brownback’s statement on state spending at the close of the 2017 legislative session has leadership in both chambers up in arms.  ““This legislative session made history, but for all the wrong reasons. Passing the largest tax hike in state history, this legislature passed the biggest budget in state history—and they’ve already spent every dime.  The legislature—despite borrowing and delaying … Read More

Kansas Legislature Broke a Lot of Promises

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Last September I made a very safe prediction for the 2017 session of the Kansas Legislature – “Regardless of who is elected to the 2017 Legislature, January will bring turmoil and major disappointment for many Kansans.”  Like I said, a pretty safe bet…but the rationale ruffled a few feathers.  “Many candidates and special interests say Kansas needs to spend a … Read More

$1.6 Billion Pension Payouts; Over 2,000 KPERS ‘Millionaires’

Dave TrabertEducation, Tax & Spending

An Open Records request fulfilled by the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) shows record-setting payouts in 2016 of $1.6 billion.   The number of KPERS ‘millionaires’ also set a new record, with 2,007 government retirees expected to receive more than $1 million in pension benefits over their first 20 years of retirement.  Pensions are paid over the lifespan of each … Read More