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: School finance verdict, economy recovering with warning about ag, correction

In this issue …

  • Waiting on the school finance verdict
  • Kansas economy is recovering but economists warn about ag
  • Correction


Waiting on the school finance verdict

Legislative observers will be watching Friday to see if the Kansas Supreme Court issues a ruling on the constitutionality of the latest legislation on school finance.  The court’s decisions usually come out on Friday.

At stake is whether the court allows school funding for next year to go forward.  In its ruling last October, the court said:

“…while we stay the issuance of today’s mandate through June 30, 2018, after that date we will not allow ourselves to be placed in the position of being complicit actors in the continuing deprivation of a constitutionally adequate and equitable education owed to hundreds of thousands of Kansas school children.”

That could mean the court will issue an order that school funding for the new fiscal year, which begins July 1, cannot take place if funding is not constitutional.  That would force the legislature to return in special session.  July 1 is only about 22 days away.

Oral arguments were held before the court in May, where justices seemed disinclined to accept the legislature’s actions as constitutional.

The lawyer for the school districts suing the state said in that hearing that the legislature’s action is far short of constitutional.  The lawyer for the Kansas Attorney General, who is defending the lawsuit, said funding will have increased more than a billion dollars over six years.


Kansas economy is recovering but economists warn about ag

Kansas tax revenues for May were over $100 million above estimates.  Receipts for the current fiscal year are now $168 million above estimates issued in April by the state’s official estimating group made up of economists and state officials.

The so-called “long form” of those estimates has now been published and contains good news and bad for the economy.

The report says jobs are being added and they adjusted their economic growth predictions upward.

Here’s part of the report:

“Most economic variables and indicators have been adjusted slightly upward since the Consensus Group last convened in November. While the U.S. and Kansas economies continue to grow, uncertainty remains as a number of economic indicators are estimated to show only modest improvements over the next few years. Significant concerns exist for the economy as a whole relative to volatility in energy prices, tariffs or possible trade war effects on agricultural commodity prices, and consumer and business demand for products and services subject to sales taxation.”

The report included this warning about agriculture:

“However, crop prices have continued to struggle, even as above-average yields have supported overall cash receipts. Agricultural lending has been increasing since last fall. This added debt, coupled with increasing interest rates, could signal added stress and repayment issues down the road. Net farm income throughout the forecast period is expected to remain significantly below levels seen as recently as 2014. Current drought conditions and the potential of a developing trade war could cause a downside risk to the current net farm income projections from the Department of Agriculture.”

You can read the entire long form revenue estimate document here.



In our story about the budget in a newsletter last month, we provided incorrect information because that’s what we received.  The budget story said the legislature had added funds to advance the 23 Kansas highway projects that were delayed a few years ago due to severe budget problems.  That statement is untrue.

The legislature added some minor funding but certainly not enough the pay for the millions of dollars in delayed projects.


Bill tracking

Here’s our bill tracker list of where legislation we have been following ended up this session.  This should now be complete with any bills signed or vetoed by Governor Colyer.

KEPC UPDATE: Tax cuts, ROZ, STAR Bonds & HPIP, school finance, cuts restored, transpo task force, bill tracker

In this issue … Tax cut that failed contained ROZ and expensing expansion STAR bonds and HPIP changes fail along with Ad Astra Governor signs school finance measure Budget restores some previous cuts Lawmakers create transportation task force KEPC BILL TRACKER   Tax cut that failed contained ROZ and expensing expansion The big tax cut […]

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KEPC UPDATE: Winding down, K-12 fix, tax cut bill, eco devo left hanging, April revenue

In this issue … Legislature winding down for Friday ending K-12 funding fix now on Governor Colyer’s desk Tax cuts bill attempts to mitigate federal tax cut impact Economic development programs still hanging April revenues exceed expectations BILL TRACKER   Legislature winding down for Friday ending The Kansas Legislature was winding down to a final […]

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KEPC UPDATE: Monday return for education and budget, school finance fix, budget to senate, tax cut, adoption

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KEPC UPDATE: School finance fix, revenues up, tax cuts, labor force declines

In this issue … School finance fix waits for legislators this week State revenues are up Senate wants more tax cuts Kansas labor force declined over the past year BILL TRACKER   School finance fix waits for legislators to return As Kansas Legislators return to the Statehouse for the clean-up session on Thursday, they will […]

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KEPC UPDATE: School finance, constitutional amendment, broadband task force, food sales tax

In this issue … Senate and House pass different spending on school finance Constitutional amendment passes committee Broadband Task Force expected to pass Transportation Task Force in conference Food sales tax reduction might not move forward BILL TRACKING   Senate and House pass different spending on school finance School finance legislation broke loose from its […]

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KEPC UPDATE: Education – $520M for schools, constitutional amendment, inspector general; one more week; STAR Bonds; HPIP; transpo task force; broadband

In this issue … Committee proposes $520 million for public schools Education constitutional amendment introduced Attempt to create education inspector general fails Legislature has one more week before break Budget bills becomes STAR bonds debate HPIP changes pass Senate Transportation Task Force bill advances in Senate Broadband changes pass Senate BILL TRACKING   Committee proposes […]

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KEPC UPDATE: School finance, property tax, STAR Bonds, rainy day fund, HPIP, eco devo, broadband task force

In this issue … House committee begins work on school finance Bill would require more property tax for education STAR bonds changes suspended Rainy day fund passes committee HPIP changes pass committee Eco devo review bill is out of committee Broadband task force bill moves forward KEPC BILL TRACKING   House committee begins work on […]

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KEPC UPDATE: Ed funding report, tax reaction, enterprise zones, Rural Opportunity Zones, labor report

In this issue … Slow week as lawmakers wait for education funding report House Taxation tackles reaction to federal changes Lawmakers consider reinstating enterprise zone Committee reviews Rural Opportunity Zone results Monthly labor report   Slow week as lawmakers wait for education funding report Many legislative committees did not meet this week, but activity will […]

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KEPC UPDATE: School funding, property tax, review of eco devo plans, convention of the states, internet sales tax, STAR bonds, income taxes

In this issue … School funding delayed until studies are released No support for property tax increase for schools Tax Committee votes for regular review and disclosure of economic development programs Convention of the states debated in Senate; fails Proposal to collect more internet sales tax moves forward Lawmakers question STAR bonds expansiveness Hearings on […]

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