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"It will take a long time to wade through the 139-page ruling, but even a cursory examination makes it clear that the three-judge panel didn’t let the facts get in the way of their decision. Instead, they made what amounts to a political decision that says the Legislature must increase funding by at least $548 million to meet the Rose standards even though school districts don’t know how to measure those standards." http://kansaspolicy.org/KPIBlog/124008.aspx


Kansas school funding decision ignores facts in arriving at a political decision
www.kansaspolicy.org
Today’s ruling on Gannon v. State of Kansas in which the Shawnee County District Court declared school funding to be unconstitutionally low ignores a long list of facts that disprove school districts’ contentions.  The three-judge panel ma
Wed, 31 Dec 2014 17:14:11 +0000
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KPI president Dave Trabert on today's ruling in the on-going school finance litigation, "This ruling willfully ignores a long list of facts that disprove school districts' contentions. The judges may even have ignored the State Supreme Court's order that adequacy is to be determined on whether outcomes - as defined by the Rose capacities - are being met. The judges essentially dusted off their original decision that was rejected by the Supreme Court and added some new legal jargon attempting to justify their original action in arriving at what is little more than a political decision."

Stay tuned for more analysis...
Tue, 30 Dec 2014 20:26:35 +0000
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Gov't can provide quality service while saving taxpayers money.


A plan for balancing the Kansas state budget

Kansas Policy Institute President Dave Trabert presents KPI's plan to balance the state's budget without service reductions or tax increases. Trabert spoke a...
Thu, 18 Dec 2014 17:34:52 +0000
Last Refreshed 1/31/2015 4:06:33 PM
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New house credits are misguided
Posted by Dave Trabert on Tuesday, February 14, 2012

You may have read about a new plan in the Wichita Eagle to incentivize new home purchases.

"With new-home construction foundering and builders buried under the weight of taxes on unsold lots, the Wichita City Council on Tuesday will look at a plan to jump-start the flagging local homebuilding industry.

"City staff is recommending adoption of a five-year property tax moratorium for the first 1,000 qualifying new houses built over two years. The city and the Wichita Area Builders Association started developing the plan in October in an attempt to reinvigorate a market that has stagnated with declining sales and tight credit."

This proposal may be a well-intended effort to help home builders and some taxpayers, but it would do so at the expense of all other businesses and taxpayers.  Unless the City of Wichita reduces spending by the amount of the tax rebates, the foregone revenue will have to be made up by everyone else.  Government doesn't just spend money when it writes checks, it also spends taxpayer money when it gives credits, rebates, loans and other types of incentives.

City Council should also recognize that rebating property taxes to buyers of certain new homes will also harm taxpayers who are trying to sell existing homes.  

If the City of Wichita wants to help (all) taxpayers, the best way it can do so is to cut spending and reduce everyone's taxes.  The City's annual financial reports show that property tax collections increased from $59.3 million in 1997 to $115.4 million in 2010.  That's a 95% tax increase.  Over the same period, Wichita's population increased 16% and inflation was up 33%.  There is no good justification for taxes to increase at nearly double the rate of population and inflation.
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