Local Government to Kansans – Suck it up and Pay up

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

A new bill introduced to the House Taxation Committee proposed to further weaken citizens’ right to vote on property tax increases.  HB 2424 would add yet another exemption for “increases in employer contributions for social security, workers compensation, unemployment insurance, health-care costs, employee benefit plans and employee retirement and pension programs.” The theory might be that local government can’t help … Read More

City Property Tax Hikes

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Property tax history for twelve more cities added to KansasOpenGov.org underscores why so many citizens are upset with property tax hikes.  On average, those dozen cites increased property tax 2.6 times faster than the combined rates of inflation and population between 1997 and 2016. The City of Andover had the highest tax increase at 510 percent but the City of … Read More

Kansas Freedom Index – Legislature Opposes Economic Freedom, Personal Liberty

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Based on votes cast so far, the 2017 Legislature is more likely to oppose student-focused education, economic freedom and the constitutional principles tracked in the 2017 Kansas Freedom Index.  Of the 158 pieces of legislation tracked this year, only 23 have final votes thus far, but the preliminary results are the lowest ever recorded in the six years the Kansas … Read More

Pass-Through Exemption Helped Add 18,000 jobs in 2015

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

The pass-through exemption for LLCs, Sub-S corps, partnerships and proprietors helped add over 18,000 new jobs in 2015 while all other private employers had small declines.  New U.S. Census data shows employment at pass-through entities increased by almost 4 percent while the other major category – C-corps – declined by a half percent.   Kansas was far behind the national average … Read More

Local Gov’t. Threatens Citizens over Property Tax Lid

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

A property tax lid passed last year will allow Kansans to begin voting later this year on whether, with many exceptions, city and county property taxes should increase by more than the rate of inflation.  Citizens overwhelming support the right to vote but local government doesn’t want citizens meddling in their business.  Cities and counties are asking legislators to strip … Read More

PEAK subsidy costs Kansas $48.5 million annually

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Many Democrats and Republicans in the Kansas Legislature are pushing for a very large personal income tax increase as the primary method of balancing the budget over the next two years, but they’ve shown little interest in stopping most of the special tax breaks they give to select businesses and government retirees.  The PEAK subsidy (Promoting Employment Across Kansas) is … Read More

States that Spend Less, Tax Less…and Grow More

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

The correlation is as strong today as when published in the Wall Street Journal back in 2012: states that spend less, tax less…and grow more. Data collected from various government agencies and compiled in KPI’s 2017 Green Book show the states that tax income spent 42 percent more per-resident in 2015 than the states without an income tax.  Alternatively, the ten … Read More

Fake news in Kansas promotes political agenda

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

An editorial in the Wichita Eagle reminded me that it’s been awhile since I wrote about fake news in Kansas, and there’s a lot.  The Eagle editorial bemoaned a loss of 400 jobs in February but failed to disclose that private sector employment set a new record!  The Bureau of Labor Statistics data comparing February 2016 to February 2017 shows Kansas … Read More

2016 State Payroll 3% Above 2013 Level

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

The 2016 state payroll totals reflect a 2.4 percent decline from the record set in 2015 but total pay is still 2.9 percent higher than the 2013 level. The Kansas Turnpike Authority reported a 3.4 percent pay increase for 2016 but state universities and other state agencies had small declines.  Compared to 2013 levels, however, state university pay is still … Read More

City and County Payroll Provides Property Tax Insight

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Newly published city and county payroll listings help explain why property taxes doubled, tripled or even quadrupled over the last nineteen years.  Total pay for the nine counties and ten cities published on KansasOpenGov.org exceeds $1 billion, with 756 employees collecting more than $100,000 last year. City and county payroll excludes benefits but does count bonuses and other forms of pay, … Read More