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

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

Efficient, Effective Spending Keeps Taxes Low

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

It’s not access to oil or tourism that allows some states to do without an income tax; it’s efficient, effective spending.  Texas could have all the oil in the nation and still have a high tax burden if it spent a lot more. Data from the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) shows that in 2015, the states that … Read More

Kansas House passes $2.4 billion income tax increase

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

After the November election, we said the 2017 Legislature would be defined by broken promises – either not being willing to pass the enormous tax increases to fund the vote-for-me promises or the implied promise to just raising taxes on small businesses.  Now we know that the majority of the Kansas House of Representatives intends to slap citizens with a … Read More

Kansas income tax hike rejected by citizens

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Listening to a lot of legislators, one might think their constituents are demanding that their income taxes be increased but a new market research study shows a major disconnect between Topeka and the rest of the state.   SurveyUSA conducted the study on behalf of Kansas Policy Institute between February 3 and February 8; with participation of 501 registered voters, the … Read More

Most Kansas legislators won’t declare their principles

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Lots of declarations are made on the campaign trail and town hall meetings, but when asked to declare their principles on key state budget and education issues, most Kansas legislators wouldn’t respond. Kansas Policy Institute asked all 165 Kansas legislators to respond to a 6-question multiple choice online survey between January 13 and January 30 but only 34 responded; some … Read More

Kansas tax proposal endorses government favoritism

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

The Kansas tax proposal in House Bill 2023 would significantly raise taxes on many Kansas small businesses and would be retroactive to the beginning of this year.   Legislators and others who support House Bill 2023 say the 2012 tax cut for partnerships, proprietorships, Sub-S corps, and LLC is a fairness issue and everyone should pay income tax.  But while the … Read More

Brownback’s budget proposal pretty good overall

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Governor Brownback’s budget proposal for the balance of this year and the coming two years contains a few things that, from a limited government perspective aren’t necessary but all things considered, it’s pretty good.  There are significant efficiency measures included, he continues to avoid expansion of Medicaid through Obamacare – which is especially smart since Obamacare will likely change under … Read More