• Property tax hikes in the works

    Property tax hikes in the works0

    City Council members and County Commissioners across Kansas are deciding how much more to tax and spend next year, and the preliminary numbers are not encouraging across most of the larger population areas.  With inflation at 1.4 percent (June 2016 compared to December 2015), the smallest increase we found was 1.6 percent in Kansas City,

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  • Students and Taxpayers Bear the Costs of Generous Pay Packages at Johnson County Community College

    Students and Taxpayers Bear the Costs of Generous Pay Packages at Johnson County Community College1

    This post has been updated to correct a typo and clarify a calculation made within the body of the post. Johnson County Community College (JCCC) payroll records—now available on KansasOpenGov.Org for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 school years —may raise eyebrows among students and taxpayers alike, as some JCCC staff members earn salaries that appear to

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  • Personal Income Ranking Distorted by Media

    Personal Income Ranking Distorted by Media0

    There are many variations of yellow journalism.  There’s the pants-on-fire type practiced by Steve Rose at the Kansas City Star and the let’s-give-cover-to-government version from KWCH-TV, just to name two.  Yesterday’s release of inflation-adjusted Personal Income totals by the Bureau of Economic Analysis brought forth another form: ‘sensationalize-even-if-it’s-misleading.’ The Wichita Eagle proclaimed “Kansans’ pay increase

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  • Yellow journalism defines KC Star’s Steve Rose

    Yellow journalism defines KC Star’s Steve Rose0

    Yellow journalism originally referred to a style of journalism that used melodrama, romance, and hyperbole to sell newspapers and influence public opinion.  Over time, it has become synonymous with unethical behavior, ignoring facts and fabricating claims in pursuit of an agenda.  It is also an apt description of Steve Rose’s attacks on Kansas Policy Institute

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  • Former Kansas governors’ definition of ‘fiscal health’ favors government over taxpayers

    Former Kansas governors’ definition of ‘fiscal health’ favors government over taxpayers0

    With generous in-kind campaign contributions from media, four former Kansas governors announced the formation of their political organization, intended to “restore Kansas back to fiscal health” by getting candidates elected who ostensibly share their viewpoint.  It’s all too common for politicians of both parties to stretch the truth (to put it kindly) but the sanctimonious

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  • Payroll Records Suggest Inefficient Spending at Kansas Turnpike Authority

    Payroll Records Suggest Inefficient Spending at Kansas Turnpike Authority0

    2015 payroll records from the Kansas Turnpike Authority (KTA) raise questions about whether the department is serving its taxpaying consumers efficiently. For one, KTA continues to employ a bevy of highly-paid toll collectors at a time when automated tolling devices are delivering safer, cheaper, and better-flowing travel across the country. Moreover, the agency continues to commit

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