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Tax day discussion of Kansas' tax cuts. Looks like the economic outlook is improving. http://www.kansaspolicy.org/KPIBlog/116713.aspx


Rich States, Poor States: Kansas 15th Best Economic Outlook
www.kansaspolicy.org
The 2014 edition of Rich States, Poor States released today ranks Kansas at #15 for Economic Outlook and #32 for Economic Performance.  Economic Outlook is a forward-looking forecast based on each state’s standing in 15 important state polic
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 15:50:48 +0000
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"a need for charter schools to help them escape that cycle of failure and dropout." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5rdU9tiLww&list=UUNthK1nbhLRYoiCXqjih3bw


Real Charters Schools Needed in Kansas
A failed charter school and someone looking to start a charter school in Kansas can only look to Kansas City, MO and wonder what impact high-performing publi...
Mon, 14 Apr 2014 18:55:40 +0000
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"An economic system that simply doles out favors to established stakeholders becomes less dynamic and makes job growth less likely."

Want to hear more like this? Click the link in the first comment to hear Jonah Goldberg in person later this month in Overland Park. http://www.nationalreview.com/article/375309/pro-business-or-pro-market-jonah-goldberg


Jonah Goldberg - Pro-Business or Pro-Market
www.nationalreview.com
The GOP can’t have it both ways anymore.
Fri, 11 Apr 2014 15:47:16 +0000
Last Refreshed 4/19/2014 9:01:35 AM
Press Releases

7-24-13
Kansans Told Property Taxes "Steady" While Reality Suggests "Honesty Gap"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Contact James Franko (316) 634-0218

July 22, 2013 - Wichita - Property tax collection in Kansas topped last year's record-breaking amount by 1.8 percent, resulting in $3,988,051,976.58 being taken out of the Kansas economy via taxes on personal and business property. Taxes were increased in 89 counties in 2012 and were reduced in 16 counties; all county totals include all taxing jurisdictions therein (cities, school districts, etc.). An online database of historic property tax information available at KansasOpenGov.Org, a government transparency using only official government data operated by Kansas Policy Institute, includes new property tax data between 1997 and 2012. Of the 105 Kansas counties, 56 decreased the mill rate, 48 increased it, and one left it unchanged. The mill rate for each all taxing jurisdictions within a county is calculated by the Kansas Department of Revenue. Read the full release here.

5-8-13
New Accounting Standards Deepen KPERS Pension Hole
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Contact
James Franko (316)634-0218

May 8, 2013 - Wichita - Despite legislative efforts to reform the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) in 2011, the plan's funding status remains seriously low.   A new paper from Kansas Policy Institute scholar Barry Poulson, Ph.D., makes clear that the reforms undertaken thus far were not enough to address the structural deficiencies in KPERS.  In fact, new Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) standards will make the current deficiencies much worse. Read the full press release here.

3.25-13
State Gov't Payroll Dips $2 Million, $1.9 Billion Total Paid to Employees
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Contact James Franko (316)634-0218

March 25, 2013 - Wichita - As the Kansas Legislature continues to debate the budget, new data gives a better picture of how much the state spends on payroll. 2012 calendar year payroll data for all state employees is now available at KansasOpenGov.Org and updates a fully searchable database that stretches back to 2007. Read the full press release here.

1.25.13
Privatization Key To Government Efficiency and Better Service, Better Price
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Contact James Franko (316)634-0218

January 25, 2013 - Wichita - As the 2013 Legislature begins its work the discussion remains focused on implementing last year's tax reform package. A new study from Kansas Policy Institute makes clear a good deal of the dollars necessary to implement reform without raising taxes, an 8.5 percent efficiency savings, can be achieved via a slate of reforms commonly referred to as privatization. "Better Service, Better Price," goes through best practices and case studies to arrive at standard cost savings of between five and 20 percent - a good step toward realizing the benefits of HB 2117. Read the full press release here.

7.24.12
Tax Reform Leads To More Jobs, Higher Wages
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Contact James Franko (316)634-0218

Wichita - July 24, 2012 - Answers to many of the policy and political questions regarding the tax reform package that Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law in May are in a new analysis from Kansas Policy Institute. "Tax Reform Gears Kansas for Growth" shows that at least 33,000 new jobs will be created and Kansans will have at least $1.6 billion more in disposable income. The study also shows that a one-time spending adjustment of about 8.5% is all that is needed to have balanced budgets with healthy ending balances. Read the full press release here.

7.16.12
Renewable Energy Mandates Have Negative Economic Consequences for Citizens
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Contact James Franko (316)634-0218

July 16, 2012 - Wichita - As a result of renewable energy mandates created by a 2009 Kansas law, electricity prices are predicted to jump 45 percent by 2020. This is just one of the negative economic effects Kansans can expect according to a new study, "The Economic Impact of the Kansas Renewable Portfolio Standard," issued by Kansas Policy Institute. A renewable portfolio standard (RPS) mandates that utility companies purchase certain amounts of their energy from renewable sources. In Kansas, that primarily means wind energy. Reading the full press release here.

5.24.11
Tax Reform Doesn't Result in Long-Term Budget Holes
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Contact James Franko (316) 634-0218

May 24, 2012 - Wichita - Today, Kansas Policy Institute released an analysis of the tax reform package, HB 2117, that Gov. Sam Brownback recently signed into law which shows that the billions of dollars in predicted deficits will not necessarily occur. A previous analysis from the Kansas Legislative Research Department (KLRD) that predicted large budget deficits used a standard methodology where only one variable changes. That methodology also makes no allowance for Kansas' constitutional requirement for a balanced budget, so the long-term implications of spending adjustments in the early years are not considered. Read the full press release here.

3.1.12
Updated KPERS Pension Data Available At KansasOpenGov.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Contact
James Franko (316) 634-0218

While much of the debate thus far in the 2012 legislative session has centered around whether to modify the government employees' retirement plans to address billions of dollars in pension debt,
recently released data shows that 2011 pension payouts set a number of new records. A retiree from USD 233 Olathe is collecting a record-high annual pension of $170,551 for life, or roughly $3.4 million over the first 20 years. Retirees can elect to receive reduced annual pensions and collect a large one-time payment upon retirement. A new record one-time payment was also set by a retiree from the City of Shawnee, who collected $681,981. Individual payments are posted online at KansasOpenGov.org; all data was obtained from Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) via Open Records requests. Read the full press release here.

2.17.12
State Payrolls Up Slightly Despite Streamlining
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Contact
James Franko (316) 634-0218

Even though much has been made of efforts to streamline state government and some claim dramatic downsizing of government,
state payroll data on KansasOpenGov.org demonstrates that total state pay increased by $16,555,995.38 between the 2010 and 2011 calendar years. KansasOpenGov.org contains only official government reporting data obtained via Kansas Open Records Act requests and is operated by Kansas Policy Institute. Read the full press release here.

2.8.12
KPI At Tax Press Conference: Need to Reduce Taxes For All Kansans
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Contact James Franko (316) 634-0218

Today, Kansas Policy Institute participated in a coalition press conference focusing on the need for tax reform. Below are excerpts from the remarks delivered by KPI President Dave Trabert. Read the full Press Release
here.

 1.11.12
KPI Statement On Gov. Brownback's 2012 State of the State Address
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Contact James Franko (316) 634-0218

This evening, Kansas Policy Institute president Dave Trabert offered the following statement in response to Governor Sam Brownback's annual State Of The State Address.

Overall Thoughts: "I'm glad Gov. Brownback has identified the things that too many previous administrations and members of the legislature willfully chose to ignore; KPERS, Medicaid, K-12 finance and taxes. While it is nice to see these crises finally get some attention, the state is not moving aggressively enough to save itself from driving off a cliff..." Read the full Press Release
here.

12.14.11
KPI Statement On Finance Plan, "Incomplete"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Contact James Franko (316) 634-0218

Today, Dave Trabert, the president of Kansas Policy Institute offered the following statement in response to Gov. Sam Brownback's K-12 finance plan.

"All things considered, we have to give Governor Brownback's proposed School Finance Reform Plan an 'Incomplete'. It's good to give districts more flexibility in deciding how to spend aid dollars and the formula may be easier to understand, but there is nothing in this plan to substantively address his laudable goals of raising student achievement. Excellence in Education requires laser-like focus on outcomes and those elements are missing from this plan. Hopefully, there is still a lot more to come." Read the full Press Release
here.

12.6.11
KPERS and Medicaid Poised to Drive Kansas Budget Off a Cliff
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Contact James Franko (316) 634-0218

It's no secret that KPERS and Medicaid costs have been growing, but many Kansans may be shocked to learn that those two items could soon consume nearly half of all Kansas State General Fund (SGF) revenue. In 1998, Medicaid and employee pension costs consumed 5.9% of SGF revenue and are budgeted at 24.2% of 2012 revenue. But, even if SGF revenue grows at a slightly-above-average annual rate of 3.5%, KPERS and Medicaid will account for somewhere between 34% and 45.1% of SGF revenue by 2023.

A
new study from Kansas Policy Institute, "Major Structural Deficits Looming In Kansas," projects General Fund spending under four spending scenarios and three revenue growth assumptions. Read the full Press Release here.

11.7.11
More Payroll Data Added To Transparency Site
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Contact James Franko (316) 634-0218

Residents of seven counties representing 56% of the state's population can now see how much their county officials are paid. Complete 2010 payroll listings for the five largest counties (Douglas, Johnson, Sedgwick, Shawnee, and Wyandotte) plus Butler and Cowley counties are now available on
KansasOpenGov.org, with links to additional analysis at KansasWatchdog.org. Read the full Press Release here.

8.24.11
Kansas Property Taxes Increased Again in 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Contact
James Franko (316) 634-0218

While appraised values softened in many Kansas counties last year, property tax collections rose to a new high of $3.8 billion, an increase of 0.4 percent, and the average mill rate increased by 3.3 percent. Since 1997, property taxes have gone up by 93.7 percent. At the same time, inflation rose 32.7 percent and population increased by 10 percent. According to
new data compiled by Kansas Policy Institute and posted on KansasOpenGov.org, property tax collections and mill rate changes are as varied as the 105 counties in Kansas. From 1997 to 2010, Leavenworth County increased property tax revenue by 174 percent while property tax collections increased by four percent in Coffey County. The same goes for mill rates, as Stanton County increased from 76.976 to 144.595 mills, an 88 percent increase, while Shawnee County decreased their mill rate by one percent, from 138.630 to 137.565 mills. Read the full Press Release here.

7.14.11
Legal Authority Exists to Adjust KPERS Benefits
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Contact James Franko (316) 634-0218

There is a mounting realization that the Kansas Public Employee Retirement System (KPERS) is facing a crisis and there is a need for immediate reform. "
Legal Authority to Adjust State Pension Plans," a paper released earlier this week by KPI, outlines the legal history of modifying public pension benefits. Ralph Benko, a senior economic policy advisor to American Principles in Action, authored the paper and participated in a media conference call on July 12 announcing the paper's release. An audio recording of that conference call is available here. It will be mailed to members of the Brownback Administration, the Kansas Legislature, and the KPERS Study Commission later this week. KPI released a paper earlier this year outlining the staggering unfunded liabilities facing KPERS that can be viewed here. Read the full Press Release here.

6.28.11

Medicaid Spending Set to Crowd Out Education And Other Gov't Functions
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Contact James Franko (316) 634-0218

Full implementation of federal health care 'reform', commonly referred to as ObamaCare, would cost an extra $4.7 billion from the Kansas General Fund budget between 2014 and 2023 - the first ten year period when all of the law's provisions are in effect. Total General Fund spending on Medicaid over that ten-year period is projected to be $20.8 billion, which is 29 percent more than would be spent without ObamaCare. Jagadeesh Gokhale, Ph.D., a member of the Social Security Advisory Board and former senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, writes in a
new paper from Kansas Policy Institute that the mandates will balloon Kansas spending and crowd out the resources available for other government functions such as education and transportation. Read the full Press Release here.

5.20.11

Budget Stabilization Plan Prevents Major Cuts
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Contact James Franko (316) 634-0218

This budget year would have gone much differently if, instead of starting out with a $27 million deficit, it began with a $1.0 billion surplus and another $6.8 billion set aside for tax relief or capital projects. That could have been the reality if Kansas had followed the budget guidelines in a new study from Kansas Policy Institute. "A Budget Stabilization Plan for Kansas," would solve many of the problems that face the Legislature and Governor with each new session. In fact, if the rules-based plan proposed in the study were in place since 1994, state spending would have been within 3 percent of actual general fund spending in 2010 and Kansas would have nearly $8 billion in funds ready for stabilization, emergencies, investment, and tax cuts. Read the full Press Release here.

3.24.11
K-State #1 in Cell Phone Spending
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Contact James Franko (316) 634-0218

An examination of the state checkbook reveals that agencies spent $89 million last year on several categories that often contain large amounts of unnecessary expenditures. Kansas Policy Institute (KPI) conducted the examination and made the results available today on KansasOpenGov.org. Spending on overtime, advertising, cell phones, and dues, memberships and subscriptions totaled $50 million; $39 million in travel and entertainment spending was posted earlier this week. Read the full Press Release here.

3.22.11
State Agencies Claim Confidentiality on Travel Spending
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Contact James Franko (316) 634-0218

State agencies, boards and universities in Kansas claimed they did not have to disclose details on $21.4 million in spending on various forms of travel and entertainment in FY 2010, according to a Kansas Policy Institute (KPI) analysis of the state's checkbook. Complete details on travel and the entire state checkbook are available online at KansasOpenGov.org. Read the full Press Release here.

3.7.11
KPERS (at least) $9.3 Billion In The Red
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Contact James Franko (316) 634-0218

(Wichita, March 7, 2011) - A family of four would have to write a check for $13,200 to pay off their pro-rata share of the unfunded liabilities in the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System.

Kansas taxpayers are on the hook for $9.3 billion according to a new study from Kansas Policy Institute and retired University of Colorado professor Dr. Barry Poulson, an Adjunct Fiscal Policy Fellow at KPI. Reports of a $7.6 billion unfunded liability do not account for $1.7 billion in losses that have already occurred - loses largely driven by the recession and acknowledged by KPERS. Read the full Press Release here.

2.22.11
Transparency Website - Kansas Payroll Expenditures Remain Stubbornly Flat
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Contact James Franko (316) 634-0218

KansasOpenGov.org, a project of Kansas Policy Institute, now has state payroll data for the 2010 calendar year. Overtime, total payroll by agency, state employees earnings over $100,000, and a fully searchable database are all available to the public. Total pay declined by 0.8% from 2009 but is still 4.4% higher than in 2007. State agencies paid out $10.2 million in overtime last year, up 10.4% over 2009. All data on KansasOpenGov.org comes directly from government agencies. Read the full Press Release here.

2.7.11
More Districts Added - Taxpayers Have New Tools
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Contact
James Franko (316) 634-0218

Continuing on a previous effort, KansasOpenGov.org has added five additional school districts checkbook and payroll registers. Fully searchable data is available for school districts in Topeka, Wichita, Great Bend, Colby, and Pittsburg. As some school districts continue with their lawsuit against the state, legislators, parents and others searching for ways to operate schools more efficiently can use this newly available information to make better decisions. Read the full Press Release here.

1.10.11
Transparency Spreads To Local School Districts
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Contact James Franko (316) 634-0218

In a continuing effort to make data accessible to Kansas taxpayers,
KansasOpenGov.org now hosts district checkbooks, payroll listings, and employment agreements for five districts from across the state. Fully searchable data is available for school districts in Olathe, Shawnee Mission, Garden City, Hutchinson, and Emporia. As many districts discuss potentially dramatic cuts that would impact the classroom, it is important to have a clear understanding of how schools spend taxpayer money. Read the full Press Release here.

11.11.10
Website Shines New Light On Government Spending In Kansas
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Contact James Franko (316) 634-0218

(Wichita, November 11, 2010) - Questions about how much each school district receives in per-pupil aid are eliminated with a new School District section on KansasOpenGov.org, a website that puts the facts of government spending at Kansans' fingertips.  The new School District section shows per-pupil spending and revenue for every Kansas district by school year, from 2005 through 2009; data for the 2010 school year will be added when released by the state next month. Read the full Press Release here.

7.27.10
County Budget Analysis Study Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Contact James Franko (316) 634-0218

(WICHITA, July 28, 2010) - A new study, "Kansas County Budget Analysis - In Search of Efficient Government," from Kansas Policy Institute compares 2009 per-resident spending across all 105 counties and creates a benchmarking tool for county officials and Kansas citizens.  The findings suggest hundreds of millions of dollars in potential savings from improved efficiency and transparency.  The full study can be found here, with complete data set here.  Read the full Press Release here.

4.30.2010
Schools Districts Use Carryover Reserves to Spend More This Year
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Contact: Anne Chandler (316) 634-0218
 
(Wichita, KS) Analysis of K-12 spending projections for FY 2010 shows that total spending is up about $320 million over last year, with about $220 million of the increase in current operating costs and the rest is in Capital and Debt Service.  174 districts are predicting higher operating expenditures this year; 77 districts have reductions of less than 5% and 42 districts have reductions greater than 5%.  Read the full Press Release here.

4.15.2010
Budget Proposal Delivered to Governor Mark Parkinson
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Contact: Anne Chandler (316) 634-0218
 
(Wichita, KS) Kansas Policy Institute is pleased to accept the invitation Governor Mark Parkinson issued, in a video posted by the Wichita Eagle, for Kansas Policy Institute (KPI) to show him our plan to balance the 2011 budget by funding state programs at 2010 levels without a tax increase.  KPI delivered the budget proposal April 14, 2010 to the office of the Governor. Read the full Press Release here.

4.14.2010
Taxpayer Survey and Balancing the Budget Without Tax Increases
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Contact: Anne Chandler (316) 634-0218
 
(Topeka, KS) KansasReporter will hold a press conference to release the results of a statewide survey on school funding in Kansas.  The survey was conducted by The Research Partnership of Wichita to establish a baseline of public perception on K-12 funding and to determine Kansans' willingness to pay higher taxes to provide more money to schools.  Details: Thursday, 4/15/2010 at 11:00AM, State Capitol, Room 144-S. Read the full Press Release here.

4.7.2010
Kansans Unwilling to Pay Higher Taxes for Schools under Current Conditions
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Contact: Anne Chandler (316) 634-0218
 
(Wichita, KS) A new statewide public opinion survey conducted by The Research Partnership on behalf of Kansas Reporter shows that Kansans are strongly opposed to paying higher taxes for schools because total aid per-pupil is 26% higher now than five years ago, which is the baseline for school aid being increased under the Montoy decision. Read the full Press Release here.

3.24.2010
New Study Promotes Competitive Tax Policies
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Contact: Anne Chandler (316) 634-0218
 
(Wichita, KS) "Positioning Kansas for Economic Growth with Competitive Tax Policies" shows how Kansas' tax policies compare with neighboring states and recommends how tax policy can be used to position the state to be more competitive for job creation and retention. The study is published by Kansas Policy Institute (KPI) and is authored by Jonathan Williams, adjunct fiscal policy fellow with KPI and director of the Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Read the full Press Release here.

3.23.2010
School Spending Study Finds $717 Million in Potential Savings 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Contact: Dave Trabert (316) 634-0218

(Wichita, KS) A new study on K-12 spending in Kansas concludes that schools statewide are spending as much as $717 million more than is necessary, and that implementing the 'best practices' of more efficient districts could eliminate the need to raise taxes or cut spending on other essential services. Read the full Press Release here.