Legislative leadership moving Left in Kansas

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Legislative leadership teams will lean more to the Left in 2017, favoring higher taxes and less economic and personal freedom based on the Lifetime Kansas Freedom Index scores for the House and Senate.  The 2016 House leadership team had a lifetime average score of 67 percent, with 50 percent being a ‘neutral’ score (voting equally for and against freedom issues).  … Read More

Move Revenue Estimates from April to May

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Moving the timetable for the issuance of Spring revenue estimates from April to May is among the task force recommendations to improve to the process, and history shows that to be a much-needed change.  Over the last 15 years, the April income tax estimate (Individual and Corporate combined) have missed the current year actual receipts (just 3 months away from … Read More

States That Spend Less Tax Less

adminTax & Spending

Media and legislators constantly present Kansans with the false choice between paying higher taxes to bankroll more government spending or risking cuts to desired public services. But many states continue to show that it is possible to maintain both a low-tax environment and quality public services. The key to doing so lies in states controlling their spending and finding ways … Read More

Far From Cash-Strapped, Universities & Many State Agencies Continue To Build Significant Cash Reserves

adminTax & Spending

Kansas students and families continue to face mounting tuition and fee expenses even as their state universities continue to build up significant cash reserves. This news comes according to new, FY 2016 unencumbered cash (also called carryover cash) balance data available at KansasOpenGov.org. The adjacent table shows the growth in each university’s general fee fund since FY 2003 These funds … Read More

KDOT Spending Higher in 2015 and 2016 than in Prior Years

adminTax & Spending

Media and special interest groups representing contractors have been sounding a steady drumbeat decrying decreased highway funding in Kansas, but the FY 2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) from the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) shows spending on transportation projects in 2015 and 2016 was the highest over the last ten years. Excluding debt service and administration, spending was $1.105 … Read More

$1.45 Billion tax hike or broken promises coming in January

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Regardless of who is elected to the 2017 Legislature, January will bring turmoil and major disappointment for many Kansans.  Very few candidates in either party say the structural budget deficit should be resolved by making government efficient, even though Kansas spends 34 percent more per-resident than the states without an income tax and could balance the budget by going from … Read More

Media and highway contractors mislead again

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Here’s another case of media letting its political views interfere with responsible journalism.  In keeping with many other media distortions about construction jobs this year, the Eagle editorial board today declared “Highway fund raids affecting jobs” citing data provided to them by Associated General Contractors showing that Kansas lost more construction jobs than any other state in July.  AGC members … 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

Payroll Records Suggest Inefficient Spending at Kansas Turnpike Authority

adminTax & Spending

2015 payroll records from the Kansas Turnpike Authority (KTA) raise questions about whether the department is serving its taxpaying consumers efficiently. For one, KTA continues to employ a bevy of highly-paid toll collectors at a time when automated tolling devices are delivering safer, cheaper, and better-flowing travel across the country. Moreover, the agency continues to commit high salaries to secondary, administrative, … Read More

$2 billion state payroll published on KansasOpenGov

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Payroll expenditures for the State of Kansas topped $2 billion for the first time last year and grew 4.5 percent over the previous year.  Higher education, which comprises more than half of the total, led the way with a 6.3 percent increase.  The balance of state payroll grew by 2.5 percent. KPI collects state payroll data annually in Open Records … Read More