Are you ready for another tax increase?

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Unless legislators change their tax-and-spending-spree ways, Kansans have another big tax increase coming in the near future.  The nearly $500 million spending increase just approved for fiscal years 2017 through 2019 pushes General Fund spending to $6.609 billion; that’s $1.3 billion more than if spending had just been increased for inflation since FY 1995. Kansas Legislative Research Department says the … Read More

Legislators Don’t Like Being Called Out for State Spending Hike

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Governor Brownback’s statement on state spending at the close of the 2017 legislative session has leadership in both chambers up in arms.  ““This legislative session made history, but for all the wrong reasons. Passing the largest tax hike in state history, this legislature passed the biggest budget in state history—and they’ve already spent every dime.  The legislature—despite borrowing and delaying … Read More

Media Ignores Facts, Excuses University Tuition Hikes

Dave TrabertEducation

The annual ritual of universities making sad-faced announcements of tuition increases and blaming them on state funding cuts took place last week. And in keeping with tradition, media abandoned basic journalistic principles and basically functioned as the Regent’s press office. Media didn’t question whether university tuition increases could be partially or fully avoided (they can) or attempt to put anything … Read More

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

$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 Legislature to Citizens – let them eat cake

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

With the 2017 Kansas Legislature careening toward a close, the majority of legislators in both chambers are doubling down on efforts to gouge citizens and leave generations of students behind so that those who profit from excessive and inefficient government can prosper.  For those who might think that statement hyperbolical, consider the evidence: As shown separately by the Kansas Truth … 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 Deficit overstated by $200 million

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

The reported $900 million, two-year Kansas budget deficit includes $192.6 million of revenue reductions that won’t occur and another $13 million that’s purely optional and needn’t occur.  Collectively, these spending items overstate the budget shortfall by $205.6 million. Each item listed in the adjacent table is considered a ‘transfer’ of revenue rather than appropriated amounts of spending because they were … 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