Tax Study Released Today

A new study on the ramifications of lowering the state income tax was released today at a statehouse news conference. Bernie Koch, executive director of KEPC, and study author Dr. John Wong presented findings at the statehouse today. The study finds that, for every 1 job created, 1.63 are lost due to study released today finds that a lowering of the income tax would result in a loss of 1.63 jobs due to a reduction in overall state spending. The study was commissioned by the Kansas Economic Progress Council.

The press release is available here, and the ful text of the study is available here.

Dr. Wong’s slide deck is available here.

KEPC UPDATE: KDOT projects; Kansas Fairy Tale

In this issue …

  • KDOT announces projects for next two years but will they hold?
  • A Kansas Fairy Tale


KDOT announces projects for next two years but will they hold?

This week, the Kansas Department of Transportation announced road and bridge projects for the next two years, including 464 highway projects, 194 bridge/interchange projects, and 1,603 miles of improvements.

The projects, estimated to cost $1.2 billion, are part of the 2010 T-WORKS program passed by the 2010 legislature and former Governor Mark Parkinson.

The Kansas Economic Progress Council supported the program and the 4/10 of a percent sales tax increase that funds it.  Our 2010 independent economic study by Dr. John D. Wong, then of Wichita State University, is widely credited with giving lawmakers political cover to vote for the sales tax to fund the program.

Current KDOT Secretary Mike King announced the planned projects at events in Liberal, Wichita, and McPherson.

Here’s the breakdown of work:

  • $399 million for Heavy Preservation – includes major road rehabilitation and pavement and bridge replacement
  • $242 million for Light Preservation – seals, light overlays, and bridge repairs
  • $85 million for Modernization – improving alignments, shoulder widening and improved intersections
  • $$397 million for Expansion Projects – projects that add lanes or interchanges to a roadway
  • $76 million for Local Construction – improvement projects usually on the highway system within city limits

A full list of projects is available online.

The announcement comes as the Kansas Contractors Association and the Associated General Contractors are in the midst of a statewide advertising and education campaign to protect highway funding from raids by the legislature during the 2015 session.  With state revenues millions below estimates, there will be a strong temptation to divert transportation funds to the state general fund.

We at KEPC are also concerned that when lawmakers face the difficult decisions about whether to cut spending or raise revenue to pay for popular programs like education, many will gravitate to the “Bank of KDOT,” for the millions likely needed to fill the gaps created by the 2012 and 2013 income tax cuts.

You can sample the “Bad Roads Bite” campaign.

In announcing the projects, Secretary King said, “The construction work will create jobs for hundreds of workers, who will spend their paychecks in communities all over the state, spreading the benefits far beyond the construction industry.”


A Kansas Fairy Tale

Our friends at the Kansas Center for Economic Growth have compared Kansas job growth with our regional peers and the nation and found it lackluster.

Their latest report is entitled “A Kansas Fairy Tale.”

It notes that, “Kansas’ private job growth was better in fiscal year 2012, before the tax cuts, and higher than the national average, than it was in fiscal year 2014, the first full year after the cuts. (The 2014 fiscal year ended on June 30.) After the cuts, we fell behind both the region and nation.”

Read the full report.


KEPC UPDATE: Koch op-ed, $238M shortfall in 2016, contractors aim to protect transpo funds

In this issue … Charles Koch op-ed in USA Today links to study critical of state tax cuts Kansas faces $238 million shortfall by July of 2016 Contractors launch program to protect transportation funds  JOIN KEPC TODAY – STAY AHEAD OF THE LATEST NEWS   Charles Koch op-ed in USA Today links to study critical […]

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KEPC UPDATE: Standard & Poor’s lowers KS bond rating

Citing Kansas income tax cuts and a “structurally unbalanced budget,” Standard & Poor’s rating services has announced a one-level downgrade of its issuer credit rating (ICR) for the State of Kansas. S&P also announced a double-notch downgrade of Kansas’ appropriations-secured debt. In a news release, the service said, “The outlook on both ratings is negative.” […]

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KEPC UPDATE: WSU study questions cuts, rural roads more dangerous

In this issue … Wichita State study questions cutting taxes to grow the economy Kansas rural roads more dangerous   Wichita State study questions cutting taxes to grow the economy A detailed scientific study by two Wichita State economists questions cutting taxes as a way to boost state economies.  The research was published nationally in […]

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KEPC UPDATE: Revenue drop meaning; Nobel Prize winner critiques tax plan

In this issue … What the revenue drop means Nobel Prize winner criticizes Kansas tax cuts   What the revenue drop means The announcement that June revenues for the State of Kansas were $28 million below estimates brings the state close to a zero ending balance for the Fiscal Year that began this week. The […]

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KEPC UPDATE: State borrowing; Jordan: Revenue drop in June; Fiscal Cliff/Capital Gains; Medicaid expansion

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KEPC UPDATE: Leaders misstated economic research; Huge budget implications

In this issue … Kansas leaders misstated economic research according to quoted economist Goossen: hard decisions are close, budget implications are huge   Kansas leaders misstated economic research according to quoted economist An economist with the Rockerfeller Institute of Government at the State University of New York says Kansas officials have misrepresented her research about […]

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KEPC UPDATE: Ending balance shortfall, tax bills TMI, changes to PEAK

In this issue … Ending balance preview shows FY 2016 shortfall Tax bills-probably more than you want to know Changes to PEAK (Providing Employment Across Kansas)   We are still wading through the legislation produced by the 2014 Kansas Legislature and will have a final overall report on its activity sometime after the sine die […]

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KEPC UPDATE: Veto underway, revenues plummet, tax conference, Moody’s downgrade

In this issue … Veto session underway Revenues plummet Tax conference Moody’s downgrades Kansas bonds   Veto session underway The Kansas Legislature’s veto session is underway with House and Senate leaders aiming for as short a clean-up as possible, even to the point of rushing the budget bill, which has never been debated in the […]

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KEPC UPDATE: Ks ranks 45th, taxpayer ROI, veto session, tax bills, ending balance, medicaid, KEPC stays at work

In this issue … New businesses? Kansas ranked 45th in Kauffman Foundation Index Taxpayer return on investment (ROI) in Kansas Veto session begins Wednesday Tax bills still in conference What is the ending balance? KCEG says Medicaid expansion is good for the economy What we’ve been up to  JOIN KEPC TODAY and support the availability […]

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