Economy

Scott Canon / Kansas News Service

A roiling debate over how to assess big box stores — their worth when occupied, or their value as vacant properties — could upend property tax systems across Kansas.

At the heart is the “dark story theory,” as critics call the strategy. It contends property valuations should look at what an empty store could fetch on the open market.

That would dramatically cut their property tax bills, forcing county and local governments either to get by on smaller budgets or shift a heavier burden to other property owners.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

China matters to the U.S. pork industry, as more than a quarter of all hogs raised here are shipped there. So, China’s decision to up its tariffs on 128 U.S. products, including pork, worried producers and rippled through the stock market.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

The NCAA tournament is expected to bring in $10 million dollars to Wichita’s economy, according to the city.

Kansas reported Thursday that it collected nearly $27 million more in taxes than anticipated in February.

The report from the state Department of Revenue was more good news for legislators as they face a Kansas Supreme Court mandate to increase spending on public schools. It was the ninth consecutive month that tax collections have exceeded expectations.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas policymakers are closely monitoring monthly revenue reports to determine whether the tax increases passed last June have stabilized the state’s budget. However, recent changes in federal tax law could complicate things.

neetalparekh / flickr Creative Commons

Kansas has more people working than ever before, the Kansas Department of Labor said Friday.

There are more than 1.4 million people employed in Kansas, according to data from November. The state has gained nearly 3,000 jobs in the last 12 months, mostly from construction, and professional and business services.

The unemployment rate for Kansas was 3.5 percent in November. That is down slightly from October and down from 4.3 percent in November 2016.

The unemployment rate for the Wichita area and Sedgwick County was 3.7 percent.

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Stephan Bisaha / KMUW

Kansas school districts and municipalities are rushing to save millions of dollars before the Republican tax plan makes that impossible.

J. Schafer / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

new estimate from the Emporia State Economic Index shows Kansas’ economy started to level off in October. 

The GDP for the state shrank slightly by 0.1 percent from September. That follows months of strong growth after a low point in March. There is some positive news: Kansas' GDP grew 1.7 percent since October 2016.

Shoppers, check your receipts when you buy Thanksgiving dinner ingredients. It’s likely the total cost will be lower than what you paid in 2013.

American Farm Bureau Federation volunteers scoured stores in 39 states to record prices for traditional Thanksgiving fixings. The survey found that for a party of 10, an average dinner runs $49.12 — 75 cents less than last year.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

The group of experts tasked with forecasting how much Kansas will collect in taxes raised the two-year estimate by $225 million after meeting Thursday to compare notes on the performance of key sectors of the state economy.

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