At The Rail Columns
Syndicated to Kansas newspapers March 20, 2017
One of those great little taxes that is quiet, regular and nothing you worry much about, that 20-mill property tax levy for support of K-12 education in Kansas, is about to start making noise.
The deal is that the 20-mill tax, which raises more than $600 million toward the roughly $4 billion a year spent on public schools, is about to expire. No, don’t think about it going away, just think about the Legislature having to reauthorize the tax with a bill this session.
Syndicated to Kansas newspapers March 13, 2017
Many grown-ups remember that you never knew how a first date was going to turn out until you were on the doorstep and got kissed…or not.
Well, and you gotta hate the comparison, but the Kansas Legislature is a little like that first date every year. We’ll not know how it worked out until the last day, and we’re just a dab over halfway done, roughly 50 of the 100 days that legislative leadership decided last year that it would take them to complete their work this year.
Syndicated to Kansas newspapers March 6, 2017
The Kansas Supreme Court has finally issued its opinion on adequacy of financing public schools, and while the justices didn’t put a pricetag on what it will cost, already the low-ball estimates are about $535 million and the big estimates are in the $700 million-and-up range.
Now, that’s got nothing to do with the state budget deficit of about $270 million to finish out this fiscal year on June 30 with at least a couple bucks in the bank, which hasn’t been dealt with yet. Starting July 1, the state is going to need another $500 million or so for the Fiscal Year 2018 budget just to keep its doors open.