The Buzz

Kansas Policy Institute criticizes JoCo property tax hike, employee salaries above $100,000

Dave Trabert, Kansas Policy Institute
Dave Trabert, Kansas Policy Institute

The Kansas Policy Institute, a well-known conservative think tank in the state, is running a radio ad criticizing a proposed property tax increase in Johnson County.

You can read the group’s concerns here, as well as find a link to the radio ad.

During the spot, the announcer says this: “There are more than 140 county employees making over $100,000 a year.”

The Institute is run by Dave Trabert. In 2013, federal records show, Trabert was paid a base salary of $129,211, plus a $25,000 bonus and $10,257 in benefits. His total compensation was $164,468.

KPI is a private charity. As such, donations to it are tax-deductible for the contributors, who are secret. KPI also pays no income taxes.

Here’s the Board of Trustees.

We asked Trabert about his earnings compared to the salaries he’s concerned about in Johnson County. Here’s part of what he said in an email:

“I am not just the president of Kansas Policy Institute. I also am the only administrative manager, handling all of our budgeting, human resources, risk management, etc. and also have fundraising duties. I am also one of our primary researchers and authors, doing extensive work on K-12 education and various tax issues. And for what it’s worth, I don’t have a lucrative pension plan that will be largely exempt from income taxes as do government employees.”