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

$11 Billion School Debt Exceeds State Debt

Dave TrabertEducation, Tax & Spending

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

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

2015 KPERS report includes 213 new pension ‘millionaires’

adminTax & 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

KPERS payouts for 2014 include 248 new pension ‘millionaires’

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Payout data obtained from the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System for 2014 shows there at least 1,477 state and local government retirees who will collect more than $1 million in taxpayer-funded pension benefits in their first twenty years of retirement.  This same analysis last year found 1,229 pension ‘millionaires.’ Kansas Policy Institute collects the data annually and makes it available … Read More

If fairness is really the issue, tax government pensions

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Some of the push to raise tax revenue in Kansas is being couched in terms of fairness, as in, ‘why should one group be exempt from income tax but others must pay tax.’ The focus of those discussions are the businesses organized as Limited Liability Corporations (LLCs), partnerships and other business entities that are taxed as Individuals instead of Corporations. … Read More