Friday, April 23, 2021

Johnson County loses another ‘dark store theory’ court case

The Kansas Court of Appeals issued yet another ruling against Johnson County's “dark store” justification for increasing property taxes on big-box retailers. In an opinion issued April 2, the appeals court sided with a...

Property taxes jump again but help is on the way

This year, many Kansas taxpayers will still see their property taxes go up, and in many cases, four to five times the rate of inflation.  Indeed, Manhattan increased property taxes 9.1%, Andover went up...

Bicknell on tax fight: ‘They’re just waiting on me to die’

Just over three years ago, former Pittsburg resident and pizza magnate O. Gene Bicknell filed suit against the state of Kansas in his long-running dispute over taxes the state claimed he owed -- despite...

2020 payroll for city, county staff in Douglas, Shawnee counties

The 2020 payroll listings posted to KansasOpenGov.org for Topeka, Lawrence, Shawnee County, and Douglas County show some unusual compensation increases for some of the highest-paid employees.  Shawnee County officials didn’t respond to the Sentinel’s...

Testimony: Utilities could have avoided winter storm price hikes

When "Winter Storm Uri" hit in February, it plunged the nation into a deep freeze, causing rolling blackouts across the center of the nation and caused natural gas and electricity prices to soar. In Kansas...

Garden City, Finney County employee pay increases

The 2020 calendar year payroll listings posted to KansasOpenGov.org for Garden City and Finney County show some unusual compensation increases.  City Manager Matt Allen says Garden City gave out pay-for-performance increases ranging from 1.6%...

Families explain devastating impact of disallowing nursing home visitors

Federal strings attached to nursing home funding required Kansas long-term facilities to shutter residents and lock visitors out during the pandemic. Through impassioned testimony on Monday, families of those in nursing homes asked lawmakers...

KPI hosts free webinar on new emergency management law

Officials and citizens question what an updated law means for orders-related orders like curfews and stay-at-home orders. As of last week, the updated Kansas Emergency Management Act is law. The updated statute allows the...

Parents outraged by USD 416 policy using photos for contact tracing

A parent in the USD 416 Louisburg school district wants to know why the High School track coach is taking cellphone pictures of students for contact tracing purposes without parental permission. Tiffany Ellison emailed...

Mayor Whipple dodges questions about Wichita mask mandate

In October, Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple said the city's mask mandate should remain in effect until the 14-day rolling average positivity rate remained below 5% for two weeks. The rate has been below 5% since...