Paul Soutar

Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Monday October 31, 2011

Wichita City Council. The Wichita City Council this week considers two items of interest. Spirit AeroSystems will ask for $15 million in IRBs. Spirit will purchase the bonds itself. It will receive a property tax exemption for ten years and exemption from sales tax. No dollar amount is given for the value of the exemptions. ... Then, Southfork Investment LLC, a group headed by Jay Maxwell, is asking for the formation of a new tax increment financing (TIF) district. This item, if the council approves, will set December 6 as the date for a public hearing. The vote to form…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Thursday October 13, 2011

Wichita city leaders too cozy with developers? Yesterday I participated in a KAKE Television news story where I explained the need for pay-to-play laws in Wichita and Kansas. These laws generally restrict officeholders from participating in votes or activities that would enrich their campaign contributors. In the story I said "What I, and some of my political allies object to, is what is happening in plain sight: In that there is a relatively small group of people -- and their spouses and people who work at their companies -- who regularly contribute to a wide variety of city council members,…
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Kansas budget director on budget, fiscal reform

By Paul Soutar, Kansas Watchdog. WICHITA — Budget Director Steven J. Anderson outlined how he and his boss, Gov. Sam Brownback, would like to improve the fiscal affairs and economic recovery in Kansas. But Anderson admitted the effort isn’t likely to win him many friends. His presentation to the Wichita Pachyderm Club Friday included much for fiscal conservatives to like, including efforts to reduced state spending, lower income tax rates and make state government more efficient. But some planned initiatives probably won’t sit too well with a portion of the Republican base. Anderson said he thinks the Fair Tax, a…
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There are a lot of government employees

Two recent articles -- one national in scope, the other covering only Kansas -- tell us why our budgets are so bloated and why the private sector is struggling to survive. Kansas Watchdog reports "In February more than one in five non-farm employees in Kansas worked for government." This is government all levels. Why is this a problem? Reporter Paul Soutar explains: Malcolm Harris, a professor of finance at Friends University in Wichita, said the level of government employment is an indicator of a bigger problem, “It tells me that we’ve got a lot of our resources going into government.”…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Tuesday January 18, 2011

Education reformer to speak in Kansas. Next week the Kansas Policy Institute hosts education reform expert Dr. Matthew Ladner at several events in Kansas. In Wichita, he will speak at a free breakfast event on Tuesday January 25th. Information on that event and those in Topeka and Overland Park can be found at Kansas Policy Institute Upcoming Events. Ladner, of the Goldwater Institute, will speak on the topic "Good to Great -- Lessons for Kansas from Florida's education revolution." Florida has been at the forefront of education reform in recent years, according to a study by EducationNext. Kansas, on the…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Thursday December 2, 2010

Kansas lags in charter schools. It won't be a surprise to regular readers of this site, but Kansas is way behind most states in taking advantage of charter schools. This is a school reform measure that, while not perfect and doesn't succeed in all cases, provides a way to increase opportunity for often the most disadvantaged students. It also increases opportunity for those students who don't directly use them. Paul Soutar takes a look at how Kansas earns such a poor evaluation regarding charter schools in his article Weak Charter School Law Works Against Taxpayers' Interests. Bureaucrats Gone Wild in…
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Wichita’s Paul Soutar on the ground in Massachusetts

Kansas Watchdog's Paul Soutar is in Massachusetts contributing to coverage of the special election for the United States Senate. Paul filed a report yesterday: Springfield Union Locals Come Out for Coakley. He's right in the thick of it, too. American Spectator reports in Coakley Supporters Try to Intimidate. Video is at Martha Coakley Supporters Wrap Paul Soutar In Sign:
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