Local governments hammered by state cuts

budgetcutThe combination of the economic recession and the state’s income-tax cuts have hammered local governments. “Aid to local governments, which the state has routinely provided in various forms since the 1970s, plunged by over $1 billion between 2008 and 2013 after adjusting for inflation,” according to a report by the Kansas Center for Economic Growth. “Part of this reduction is due to spending cuts in areas like public health, community corrections, education and libraries. Another portion came from the elimination of two important sources of state funding for localities – funds designed to help keep local property taxes stable and be shared by county and city governments to support programs and services.” Many cities and counties have increased property taxes as a way to help offset these funding cuts.