|No small banana in the Kansas GOP|
[Excerpt] ... Residents of 72 of the state’s 105 counties saw property tax for schools increase at least 10 percent over the three-year period, Flentje said. Thirty-one counties saw property tax increases of 20 percent or more and 16 counties saw increases of 30 percent or more for schools, Flentje said.
He cited similar findings for county governments: 71 counties saw increases of 10 percent or more; 33 had increases of 20 percent or more and 14 had increases of 30 percent or more.
“They’ve lost $200 million in reimbursements through the demand transfers, the city-county revenue sharing fund, the local ad valorem tax reduction fund. Those are gone,” Flentje said. “They lost money through their tax base. They still whine about losing their (now tax-exempt) business machinery and equipment. They don’t get funding for mental health. They don’t have the grant programs they used to to help them. So whatever they do, they’re having to fall back on their own resources. And we allow them to tax property and sales, and that’s it.”
With schools, it’s simpler. Base state aid per pupil is the foundation for paying teachers and other costs of classroom instruction. BSAPP was $3,937 in Fiscal Year 2011. In Brownback’s first budget, it dropped to $3,780. Since then, it has risen to $3,852 – still below the funding level he inherited.
Republicans insist that base state aid per pupil cannot be looked at in isolation because it is only part of the total package of state money that flows to schools. The governor’s campaign website, brownback.com, says under a section called “Reality Check” that “state spending on education has increased every year Gov. Brownback has been in office. In fact, it has increased over $270 million since 2011.”
A portion of the increase, however, has been to shore up the historically underfunded Kansas Public Employees Retirement System and has no impact on school district general funds, which pay for the bulk of classroom instructional expenses. Another significant chunk of state aid is for helping school districts pay off bonds and interest on construction projects. ... [End of Excerpt]
Read more at the Hutchinson News.