Tag: Kansas Department of Transportation

Kansas highway pavement conditions
Kansas state government

Kansas highway pavement conditions

What is the condition of Kansas highways? Each year the Kansas Department of Transportation surveys the condition of highway pavement and issues a report called the Network Optimization System (NOS) Survey. [1. Kansas Department of Transportation. Pavement Management Information System (PMIS). Available at https://www.ksdot.org/bureaus/matreslab/pmis/reports.asp.] Of the condition of highways, the report notes: "Since the data was first collected in 1983, the percentage of pavement surface in good condition has appreciably increased while the percentage of poor pavement has significantly decreased." Here's a chart of the conditions of Kansas roads and highways. [3. Kansas Department of Transportation. 2017 Kansas NOS Condition Survey Report. Available at https://www.ksdot.org/Assets/www...
Kansas highway spending
Kansas state government

Kansas highway spending

A look at actual spending on Kansas highways, apart from transfers. When we look at actual spending on Kansas roads and highways, we see something different from what is commonly portrayed. Kansas Department of Transportation publishes a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report that details spending in four categories. These figures represent actual spending on roads and highways, independent of transfers to or from the highway fund. For fiscal year 2018, which ended June 30, 2018, spending on two categories (Maintenance and Modernization) rose slightly from the year before, while spending on the categories Preservation and Expansion and Enhancement fell. For these four categories -- which represent the major share of KDOT spending on roads -- spending in fiscal 2018 totaled $528.234 mill...
Kansas highways set to crumble, foresees former budget director
Kansas state government

Kansas highways set to crumble, foresees former budget director

Duane Goossen, former high Kansas government official, says the state's highways are in trouble. What is his evidence? In a recent op-ed, Duane Goossen laments the lack of spending on Kansas roads and highways. [1. Goossen, Duane. Trouble coming for Kansas highways. Garden City Telegram, March 30, 2018. Available at http://www.gctelegram.com/opinion/20180330/trouble-coming-for-kansas-highways.] His focus is his claimed lack spending on maintenance, which, he says, will lead to much larger repair bills in the future. "But now the Kansas road system is truly threatened." He raises the common "Bank of KDOT" criticism, writing "The highway fund became a convenient source of cash." It's true, as Goossen writes, that a lot of money has been transferred from the highway fund to the general fun...
Kansas highway spending
Kansas state government

Kansas highway spending

A look at actual spending on Kansas highways, apart from transfers. When we look at actual spending on Kansas roads and highways, we see something different from what is commonly portrayed. Kansas Department of Transportation publishes a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report that details spending in four categories. These figures represent actual spending on roads and highways, independent of transfers to or from the highway fund. For fiscal year 2017, which ended June 30, 2017, spending on three categories (Maintenance, Preservation, and Modernization) was nearly unchanged from the year before, while spending on the category Expansion and Enhancement fell by 31 percent. For these four categories -- which represent the major share of KDOT spending on roads -- spending in fiscal 2017 tot...
In Kansas, sweeps to continue
Kansas state government

In Kansas, sweeps to continue

Even though the Kansas Legislature raised taxes, sweeps from the highway fund will continue. Why did the legislature and governor raise taxes in Kansas? One reason cited by many is the need to stop "robbing the highway fund." This refers to transferring ("sweeping") money from a fund in the Kansas Department of Transportation to the state's general fund, where the money is then spent on things besides highways. There was bipartisan agreement that this practice should stop. Highways were falling apart, it was said, even though spending on major road maintenance programs continued at about the same level. [5. Weeks, Bob. Highway budget cuts and sweeps in Kansas. Available at https://wichitaliberty.org/kansas-government/highway-budget-cuts-sweeps-kansas/.] The real danger in transferring mo...
Explaining the Kansas budget, in a way
Kansas state government

Explaining the Kansas budget, in a way

A video explaining the Kansas budget is accurate in many aspects, but portrays a false and harmful myth regarding school spending. A popular video explaining the Kansas budget deserves scrutiny for some of the data presented. The video is available at the Facebook page of Loud Light. The presentation makes a few good points. For example, the video is correct in that the sales tax is a regressive tax, affecting low-income households in greater proportion. During the capaign for a Wichita city sales tax in 2014 I analyzed Census Bureau data and found that the lowest income class of families experience an increase nearly four times the magnitude as do the highest income families, as a percentage of after-tax income.[1. Weeks, Bob. Wichita sales tax hike would hit low income families hardest...
Highway budget cuts and sweeps in Kansas
Kansas state government

Highway budget cuts and sweeps in Kansas

A public interest group makes claims about Kansas roads and highways that are not supported by data. It's not even close. A fundraising email sent by Save Kansas Coalition makes claims about Kansas roads and highways that readers will recognize as a few of the standard complaints common among Kansas spending and taxation advocates. It's charitable, though, to call them complaints, because they are actually outright lies. "Budget cuts and sweeps from the Bank of KDOT have decimated our state's transportation infrastructure investments." Decimate means "to reduce drastically" or "to cause great destruction or harm to."[1. Merriam-Webster. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/decimate.] Reading that, you might think that spending has been cut by -- how much? 10 percent? That doesn't ...
Spending on roads in Kansas
Kansas state government

Spending on roads in Kansas

A look at actual spending on Kansas highways, apart from transfers. When we look at actual spending on Kansas roads and highways, we see something different from what is commonly portrayed. Kansas Department of Transportation publishes a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report that details spending in four categories. These figures represent actual spending on roads and highways, independent of transfers to or from the highway fund. Spending on "Preservation" has been rising, but fell last year. Spending on "Expansion and Enhancement" has been rising. Spending on "Maintenance" has been level, with a small decline. Spending on "Modernization" has declined, then rose. For these four categories -- which represent the major share of KDOT spending on roads -- spending in fiscal 2016 totaled...
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