An Open Message to Kansas Lawmakers: Evacuating from Fiscal Hell

Duane Goossen March 9, 2017 Last week’s Supreme Court ruling requiring increased funding for Kansas schools did not surprise many people, but it still complicated an already challenging legislative session. So, now what? Here are three observations from a budgetary perspective: The goal post moved….a lot. Lawmakers must adjust accordingly. House Bill 2178 was a … Read More

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Lisa OwenAn Open Message to Kansas Lawmakers: Evacuating from Fiscal Hell

Pass-Through Exemption Doesn’t Work for Kansas

Nathan Madden February 28, 2017 The controversial “LLC Loophole,” or pass-through income exemption from state income taxes, faces strong opposition for two reasons: it doesn’t work to stimulate business or employment growth. It also costs the state hundreds of millions in revenue that should be used to invest in schools, roads, public safety, and health. … Read More

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Lisa OwenPass-Through Exemption Doesn’t Work for Kansas

Guest Commentary, Part Four: Modernize the Kansas Gas Tax

Bob Totten, Kansas Contractors Association February 5, 2017 Did you know Kansas has over 140,000 miles of roads, bridges, and highways? Every Kansan relies on our infrastructure every single day in one way or another, but we frequently take it for granted. We go to work or send our kids to school just assuming that … Read More

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Lisa OwenGuest Commentary, Part Four: Modernize the Kansas Gas Tax

Goossen: January Revenue in Perspective

Duane Goossen February 2, 2017 January general fund tax revenue turned out to be a bit “higher than estimated.” Good. That’s certainly a better situation than if monthly revenue were lower than estimated, as has been the case so many times over the last four years. However, the January result does not alter the grim … Read More

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Lisa OwenGoossen: January Revenue in Perspective

Goossen: Governor’s Budget: Don’t Look Here for Structural Balance

Duane Goossen January 19, 2017 The governor claimed he was producing a structurally balanced budget. The lieutenant governor predicted that a structurally balanced budget was coming. And after its unveiling, the governor’s staff asserted the budget was indeed structurally balanced. But it’s not. Not even close. Unfounded claims and assertions can’t make it so. Kansas … Read More

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Lisa OwenGoossen: Governor’s Budget: Don’t Look Here for Structural Balance

Securitization a Non-solution that Would Wreck Kansas Financially

Nathan Madden January 13, 2017 The budget plan released by the Governor’s office contains an ill-advised idea: sell off dollars that come in to the Children’s Initiatives Fund (CIF) from a settlement with tobacco companies to help close a self-inflicted budget gap. Not only would this move shortchange Kansas kids, but it is extremely risky … Read More

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Lisa OwenSecuritization a Non-solution that Would Wreck Kansas Financially

Goossen: The Gap Lawmakers Must Close

Duane Goossen January 5, 2017 The Kansas budget has a huge structural imbalance, a daunting gap between income and expenses. For the Kansas general fund to remain solvent, lawmakers must close the gap. The general fund became structurally unbalanced immediately after the 2012 income tax cuts were implemented, but the situation has become especially dire … Read More

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Lisa OwenGoossen: The Gap Lawmakers Must Close

Guest Commentary, Part Three: Lower the Food Sales Tax

Ashley Jones-Wisner, KC Healthy Kids December 12, 2016 Cost is one of the biggest barriers to accessing healthy food in Kansas. The evidence is mounting, and Kansas residents and lawmakers have started to pay attention as KC Healthy Kids has led the charge to get rid of Kansas’ tax on groceries. Studies show that Kansas’ … Read More

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Lisa OwenGuest Commentary, Part Three: Lower the Food Sales Tax

Guest Commentary, Part Two: Close the LLC Loophole

Rebecca Proctor, Kansas Organization of State Employees November 25, 2016 We all want good schools to send our kids to, good roads to travel down, and affordable health care for our families. We have these things thanks to the investments past generations of Kansans made in our state, all of which were paid for with … Read More

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Lisa OwenGuest Commentary, Part Two: Close the LLC Loophole

Guest Commentary, Part One: End the March to Zero

Mark Desetti, Kansas-National Education Association November 16, 2016 Kansas has a long history of supporting public education, going back to the 1870s, when a compulsory school attendance law was passed. That law stated that “education was key to the state’s growth and development, since a literate and skilled citizenry could help build business and industry.” … Read More

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Lisa OwenGuest Commentary, Part One: End the March to Zero