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Calling all Wichitans! Want to pay higher sales taxes to fund, amongst other things, street paving and bus transit? Learn more about the proposal this Thursday at WSU Metroplex. Free and open to the public. Please register here: http://kansaspolicy.org/events/121100.aspx?view=c


Moving Wichitans in the Future: Paving and Transit Via Sales Tax?
www.kansaspolicy.org
A review of the paving and transit portions of the proposed 1% sales tax in the City of Wichita.
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 20:30:40 +0000
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Is a new tax in City of Wichita- Government the right way to maintain streets and provide bus transit? What are some other possible solutions to the problem? 23 October event to learn more. http://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/election/article2906173.html RSVP in first comment.


KPI to host forum on transit and street maintenance components of sales tax referendum
www.kansas.com
The Kansas Policy Institute, a conservative Wichita nonprofit organization, is hosting its final community forum on the components of the upcoming sales tax referendum.
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 15:13:54 +0000
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How will the upcoming elections impact Freedom in America and Kansas? Hear Scott Rasmussen's thoughts and predictions at the KPI annual dinner on October 28 in Wichita. Register today at www.KansasPolicy.org/Rasmussen2014


2014 Elections and America's Future
www.kansaspolicy.org
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Wed, 15 Oct 2014 14:47:50 +0000
Last Refreshed 10/23/2014 12:04:57 PM
Commentary
What's REALLY The Matter With Kansas

By: Dave Trabert
May 23, 2011
Word Count: 524

A May 22 story in the Wichita Eagle about the lack of focus on job creation in the just-concluded legislative session provides great insight into the economic stagnation the state has suffered over the last decade.

According to the Kansas Dept. of Labor, between April 2008 and April 2011 we lost 73,200 private sector jobs (6.5%), 500 state government jobs (0.9%) and 500 local government jobs (0.3%). Last year, despite warnings from two academic studies that a sales tax increase would cost thousands of jobs, legislators did it anyway – and sure enough, between July 1 and April 30 we lost 5,000 private sector jobs (seasonally adjusted according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics for comparability). State government employment didn’t change over the time frame.

So what was the focus of that lengthy article? The loss of government jobs. Private sector jobs were barely mentioned.

The Eagle article spoke of a large number of state job cuts without mentioning that the majority were vacant positions. But there was no mention of last year’s legislative action that destroyed private sector jobs by raising the sales tax so government could spend more money.

That pretty much sums up the job problem in Kansas for the last decade: more concern about protecting government and not much more than lip service for the private sector.

The article painted a dire picture for education but failed to mention that total state spending on K-12 will increase by more than $100 million next year. Mandatory spending increases on school employee retirement benefits, special education and school bond payments prompted a reduction in the starting point of the funding formula (base state aid) but legislators also passed a law allowing districts to make up the difference in base state aid. Districts are allowed to transfer carryover cash balances from a variety of funds for operational purposes – and all but one district started this year with enough money in those funds to do so. Most, in fact, had more than $1,000 per-pupil in those funds. Districts have the ability to avoid the layoffs mentioned in this article, so why did the author and those interviewed fail to mention it?

There was also no perspective placed on the education jobs that local school boards chose to eliminate. Current employment levels are still considerably higher than just a few years ago. Statewide there are 4.6% more teachers than in 2005 and all other school employment is 8.6% higher; enrollment is up just 3.1%. It’s a shame that those people lost their jobs but it would be nice to see just as much concern for the private sector unemployed.

The Rural Opportunity Zones created by the Legislature are a good step forward but the change that would create more jobs than any other effort – eventually eliminating the income tax – was killed in the Senate. They wouldn’t even allow it to be discussed. Opponents of eliminating the income tax are very concerned about sustaining government.

Kansas will continue to suffer the economic stagnation we’ve seen over the last decade until we stop valuing government jobs over private sector jobs. That’s what is really the matter with Kansas.

View the full story at The Daily Caller. Click here
View the full story at The Hays Daily News. Click here
View the full story at True Blue Conservative. Click here
View the full story at Kiowa County Signal. Click here
View the full story at The Scott County Record Online. Click here