April 14, 2015

Unaffordable tax cuts continue to have negative effect on Kansas communities

TOPEKA – A new report released today by the Kansas Center for Economic Growth shows just how much tax cuts passed in 2012 and 2013 are costing communities around the state.

Schools, libraries and other community-based services have taken a significant financial hit because state aid to cities and towns has been reduced, according to analysis provided in the report, “Tax Cuts Taking Toll on Kansas Communities.”

Because of the unaffordable tax cuts:

  • Support for neighborhood schools is down almost 6 percent;
  • State aid to libraries was cut by nearly 23 percent;
  • Property taxes went up more than three percent in just one year.

Between 2009 and 2014, total aid to localities was reduced by more than $616 million, or more than 16 percent. And looking ahead, it seems Kansas communities will continue to see reduced or stagnant state investment. The proposed state budget for Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017 shaves another $11.5 million.

“When the state reduces its investment, local communities are forced to make up the difference, usually in the form of property tax increases,” said Annie McKay, executive director of the Kansas Center for Economic Growth. “That, combined with cuts to schools and safe neighborhoods, makes it very difficult to attract people and jobs to Kansas. We should stop and think if this is really the path we want to pursue.”

The Kansas Center for Economic Growth is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that conducts research and analysis to advance state policies that help ensure all Kansans prosper.

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ClayUnaffordable tax cuts continue to have negative effect on Kansas communities