Interventionism

‘Love Gov’ humorous and revealing of government’s nature

‘Love Gov’ humorous and revealing of government’s nature

A series of short videos from the Independent Institute entertains and teaches lessons at the same time. The Independent Institute has produced a series of humorous and satirical videos to present lessons about the nature of government. The Institute describes the series here: Love Gov depicts an overbearing boyfriend -- Scott “Gov” Govinsky -- who foists his good intentions on a hapless, idealistic college student, Alexis. Each episode follows Alexis's relationship with Gov as his intrusions wreak (comic) havoc on her life, professionally, financially, and socially. Alexis's loyal friend Libby tries to help her see Gov for what he really…
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The candlemakers’ petition

The arguments presented in the following essay by Frederic Bastiat, written in 1845, are still in use in city halls, county courthouses, school district boardrooms, state capitals, and probably most prominently and with the greatest harm, Washington. A PETITION From the Manufacturers of Candles, Tapers, Lanterns, Sticks, Street Lamps, Snuffers, and Extinguishers, and from Producers of Tallow, Oil, Resin, Alcohol, and Generally of Everything Connected with Lighting. To the Honourable Members of the Chamber of Deputies. Open letter to the French Parliament, originally published in 1845 Gentlemen: You are on the right track. You reject abstract theories and have little…
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With tax exemptions, what message does Wichita send to existing landlords?

With tax exemptions, what message does Wichita send to existing landlords?

As the City of Wichita prepares to grant special tax status to another new industrial building, existing landlords must be wondering why they struggle to stay in business when city hall sets up subsidized competitors with new buildings and a large cost advantage. From June 2014. Tomorrow the Wichita City Council considers whether to grant property and sales tax exemptions to a proposed speculative industrial building in north central Wichita. If approved, this will be the second project undertaken under new economic development policies that allow for this type of tax exemption. City documents estimate that the property tax savings…
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Rich States, Poor States, 2105 edition

Rich States, Poor States, 2105 edition

In Rich States, Poor States, Kansas continues with middle-of-the-pack performance, and fell in the forward-looking forecast for the second year in a row. In the 2015 edition of Rich States, Poor States, Utah continues its streak at the top of Economic Outlook Ranking, meaning that the state is poised for growth and prosperity. Kansas continues with middle-of-the-pack performance rankings, and fell in the forward-looking forecast. Rich States, Poor States is produced by American Legislative Exchange Council. The authors are economist Dr. Arthur B. Laffer, Stephen Moore, who is Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Project for Economic Growth at The Heritage Foundation, and…
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In Kansas, PEAK has a leak

In Kansas, PEAK has a leak

A Kansas economic development incentive program is pitched as being self-funded, but is probably a drain on the state treasure nonetheless. An economic development incentive program in Kansas is PEAK, or Promoting Employment Across Kansas. This program allows companies to retain 95 percent of the payroll withholding tax of employees. PEAK incentive payments can be a substantial sum. Tables available at the Kansas Department of Revenue indicate that for a single person with no exemptions who earns $40,000 annually, the withholding would be $27 per week (for weekly payroll), or $1,404 annually. For a married person with two children earning…
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Government intervention may produce unwanted incentives

Government intervention may produce unwanted incentives

A Kansas economic development incentive program has the potential to alter hiring practices for reasons not related to applicants' job qualifications. An economic development incentive program used in Kansas is PEAK, or Promoting Employment Across Kansas. This program allows companies to retain 95 percent of the payroll withholding tax of employees. According to the Kansas Depart of Commerce, "PEAK is intended to encourage economic development in Kansas by incenting companies to relocate, locate or expand business operations and jobs in Kansas. The Secretary of Commerce has discretion to approve applications of qualified companies and determine the benefit period." Many states…
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Wichita TIF projects: some background

Wichita TIF projects: some background

Tax increment financing disrupts the usual flow of tax dollars, routing funds away from cash-strapped cities, counties, and schools back to the TIF-financed development. TIF creates distortions in the way cities develop, and researchers find that the use of TIF means lower economic growth. The consideration this week by the Wichita City Council of two project plans in tax increment financing districts offers an opportunity to examine the issues surrounding TIF. How TIF works A TIF district is a geographically-defined area. In Kansas, TIF takes two or more steps. The first step is that cities or counties establish the boundaries…
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Wichita loan agreement subject to interpretation

Wichita loan agreement subject to interpretation

In 2009 the City of Wichita entered into an ambiguous agreement to grant a forgivable loan, and then failed to follow its own agreement. Worse yet, there has been no improvement to similar contracts. Such agreements empower the city to grant favor at its discretion. In 2009 the City of Wichita granted a forgivable loan of $25,000 to a company named Premier Processing. In a separate transaction, Sedgwick County did the same. A forgivable loan starts with a grant of cash to a company. The company agrees to conditions or benchmarks, commonly to employ a certain number of people for…
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Research on economic development incentives

As Wichita considers how to grow its economy, its reliance on targeted economic development incentives should be guided by research, not the grandstanding of politicians and bureaucrats. Here's a summary of the peer-reviewed academic research that examines the local impact of targeted tax incentives from an empirical point of view. "Peer-reviewed" means these studies were stripped of identification of authorship and then subjected to critique by other economists, and were able to pass that review. Ambrosius (1989). National study of development incentives, 1969 -- 1985. Finding: No evidence of incentive impact on manufacturing value-added or unemployment, thus suggesting that tax…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: Wichita’s legislative agenda, and a bit of bad news

WichitaLiberty.TV: Wichita’s legislative agenda, and a bit of bad news

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: A look at some elements of Wichita’s legislative agenda for state government, in particular special tax treatment for special artists, problems with the city’s numbers regarding airfares, and why we should abandon the pursuit of passenger rail. Then, why are people not more involved in political affairs? View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 67, broadcast December 7, 2014.
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