Kansas Legislature Broke a Lot of Promises

Dave TrabertTax & SpendingLeave a Comment

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 & SpendingLeave a Comment

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

$11 Billion School Debt Exceeds State Debt

Dave TrabertEducation, Tax & SpendingLeave a Comment

Given media and legislative hyperventilation over state debt levels, one would never know that Kansas’ 286 school districts are deeper in hock than the State of Kansas and its component units (universities, turnpike authority, etc.).  School districts set a new record last year of $5.56 billion in bonded indebtedness and they also have $5.4 billion in unfunded pension liability, putting … Read More

Kansas Budget can be balanced without a tax increase

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Ronald Reagan could have been speaking of the 2017 Kansas Legislative Session when he said, “Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.” Despite knowing that state spending is morbidly inefficient (27 percent more per-resident than states without an income tax) and is $1.1 billion … 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

Kansas budget can be balanced without tax hikes

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Yes, that’s right, the Kansas budget can be balanced without a tax increase.  But first, here’s some background to put the situation in perspective. When the Legislature raised the sales tax rate in 2015 as part of the largest tax hike in Kansas history, many legislators, special interests and media expressed outrage at the impact on the poor and the … Read More

KPERS Debt Created under Previous Administrations

Patrick ParkesTax & Spending

Kansas has a high debt burden, but it long predates the current administration, current tax policy, and the current legislature. This fact contradicts media’s misleading use of a September 2016 report from Truth in Accounting to imply that Kansas’ unfunded pension liabilities and broader debt burden have primarily been products of the state’s current budget concerns and tax reform efforts. … Read More

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

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

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 hypocrisy in wanting to go … Read More

2015 KPERS report includes 213 new pension ‘millionaires’

Patrick ParkesTax & Spending

Pension payment data collected from the Kansas Public Employee Retirement System (KPERS) in an Open Records request includes 1,690 state and local government retirees who will collect more than $1 million in taxpayer-funded pension payments over their first 20 years of retirement. The number of taxpayer-funded pension ‘millionaires’ is up by 213 from last year’s total of 1,477 ‘millionaires.’ Local government (schools, cities, … Read More

Inaugural Podcast with Dave Trabert

Dave TrabertUncategorized

Kansas Policy Institute President Dave Trabert talks about Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s State of the State address and budget proposal on KPI’s first podcast. Funding for K-12 education and the KPERS retirement system are also discussed.