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Dave_Trabert (Dave Trabert)

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Editorial: Tax trade-off

Super's name is Doll...he made the claim. Complaining about the facts I post is not disproving them. Can you provide an example of a false statement I made?

No comment on the facts I posted?

July 28, 2014 at 8:32 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Tax trade-off

State funding is well above 1999 levels. According to KSDE, what is recorded as state funding (which is only what is run through the state budget and is much lower than actual funding provided by the legislature) totaled $4,706 per-pupil, which includes $173 for KPERS that was reported separately until 2005. Even adjusted for inflation, it would have been $6,471 in 2013 but the actual amount was $6,984.

Now let's look at total funding. 1999 funding adjusted for KPERS was $7,396. Inflation would take it to $10,170 but actual funding was $12,781...26% above inflation.

And total funding doesn't include aid that was diverted to increase operating cash balances. We only have cash balances back to 2005, but even in that short period over $430 million was diverted to cash balance increases. USD 497 accounts for $34 million of that increase.

Aid for 2014 and 2015 will be even higher.

Why can't Mr. Doll be honest about funding levels? If he thinks it should be higher, then he should say so and explain his rationale. Making false claims is a disservice to citizens.

July 28, 2014 at 7:07 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Douglas County administrator proposes 3.85 mill levy increase, the highest in his career

First, I'm sure everyone has noted that not a single issue has been raised here regarding the validity of the data I posted. That is often the case; when one cannot refute data, one tries to make generic claims about other data so as to avoid having to discuss the facts at hand.

I have to respectfully disagree with these characterizations as they do not accurately reflect each situation. To wit:

KansasOpenGov.org lists the total earnings of state employees as provided by the State. We make no representations as to the source of employee pay; we just list total pay. To the concern raised...if there is grant money included, it would have to be grants made to the university and not to the individual in order for any income to be reported on an employee W2. Accordingly, any grant money paid to an employee belongs to the university, which decides how much is paid to an employee.

Our analysis of higher education spending did indeed include inflation. See Table 2 at http://www.kansaspolicy.org/ResearchC...

I may on occasion reference a single subject as an example when responding to comments on a site such as this but our published analysis and legislative presentations include multiple grade levels and subjects. NAEP, for example, publishes 4th grade and 8th grade reading and math scores for Kansas and we use all of them. We also report on those same grades and subjects for state assessments and also report on 11th grade and all grades. See http://www.kansasopengov.org/SchoolDi... and http://www.kansaspolicy.org/ResearchC... as examples. Note that we also provide separate breakouts by race and income level.

We also account for inflation on K-12 spending going back fifteen years. See Table 6 at http://www.kansaspolicy.org/ResearchC... Table 5 compares general fund allocations to K-12 education for all states; we provide this information in response to claims that Kansas doesn't spend enough on education but we also provide the amount spent in every state on current spending (no capital or debt) in Table 15.

By the way, the Kansas Supreme Court says all funding counts...including KPERS. Still, Table 3 shows that state support of schools increased 49% between 2001 and 2013 without KPERS.

The data we provide often differs from the story that some tell about education finance but our data all comes from government sources. The facts may be inconvenient, but they are facts nonetheless.

July 9, 2014 at 8:17 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Douglas County administrator proposes 3.85 mill levy increase, the highest in his career

Which numbers did I change? Is anyone disputing the facts that I posted? What you call 'giving only half the facts' is true to the extent that I am providing facts that are ignored by government. Would you also say that government is only providing half the facts when they neglect to mention how much they increased taxes in the past and show that they are really talking about a 1% difference on property taxes?

July 8, 2014 at 2:22 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Douglas County administrator proposes 3.85 mill levy increase, the highest in his career

I am citing facts from the Kansas Department of Revenue. How is that a lie?

July 8, 2014 at 10:53 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Douglas County administrator proposes 3.85 mill levy increase, the highest in his career

It's not clear how much actual net loss is attributable to the mortgage tax...the county can't blame legislators for market conditions and there is no mention of how much additional revenue will collected from the new fees that were authorized to partially offset the 5-year phase out of the mortgage tax.

I'll try to put this in perspective. Let's say the mortgage tax brings in the $1.95 million (not the smaller amount that is actually being collected this year due to market conditions) and ignore the new fees that can be charged. A 5-year level phase out would reduce the tax revenue by $390,000. The Kansas Dept. of Revenue says Douglas County property tax was $43,111,234 for 2013. A 390,000 reduction is 0.9% of 2013 tax revenue.

Now lets look at Douglas County property tax over time. Again, according to KDOR, Douglas County property tax increased 202% between 1997 and 2013...from $14.3 million to $43.1 million. Inflation was 42%...property tax increase 202%. Part of the property tax increase was due to 51% increase in the mill levy.

Property tax details for cities and counties are available at http://www.kansasopengov.org/Property...

July 8, 2014 at 7:40 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

New economic numbers show Kansas, Missouri laggards; Eudora ranks high in study of best places to own a home, Lawrence ranks not so well

The data in this story is for All Industries, which includes Government. The private sector data looks even better.

Kansas beat the 50-state average and also did better than the states that tax income. I also prepared a 15-year comparison.

http://www.kansaspolicy.org/KPIBlog/1...

June 12, 2014 at 4:19 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

KNEA announces plans to file lawsuit over teacher tenure

Not true. I work for the trustees of Kansas Policy Institute. Interesting, though, that you seem to think that anything with which you disagree is 'garbage.' The declining ability to have civil discourse of issues is one of the greatest threats to personal freedom.

June 10, 2014 at 12:01 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

KNEA announces plans to file lawsuit over teacher tenure

Sorry to burst your bubble, but none of those 'likes' are my own. Citizens are catching on that institutional demands take priority over the individual needs of students...and they don't like it.

June 10, 2014 at 11:57 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

KNEA announces plans to file lawsuit over teacher tenure

So KNEA is opposed to efforts designed to make it easier to remove ineffective teachers from classroom. They are opposed to allowing school boards to hire who they believe to be qualified teachers with real-world experience in their field but don't have an education degree. And KNEA also is opposed to low income parents an opportunity to send their children to the school they believe is the best fit.

Yep, it's all about the kids.

June 9, 2014 at 12:49 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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