April 20, 2014

Survey says Kansas a good place to live

Kansans believe the state is a good place to live, according to an annual survey, Kansas Speaks, conducted by researchers at Fort Hays State University.
More than 95 percent of respondents to the survey rated Kansas “fair” to “excellent.”
“The results of the 2012 Kansas Speaks survey suggest that Kansans still consider their state a good place to live despite serious reservations regarding the economy and our elected officials’ efforts to foster improvement,” Gary Brinker, director of the Docking Institute at FHSU.
The Docking Institute of Public Affairs surveyed 4,468 Kansans with a 3.2 percent margin of error.
More than 19 percent of respondents said Kansas is an “excellent,” place to live with 9.1 percent selecting “fair.” Less than 7 percent of respondents said Kansas is a “poor” or “very poor” place to live.
The survey also asked respondents a number of questions about policies and policy makers in Kansas.
For example, the survey found that most of those surveyed preferred that politicians leave income sales and property tax rates at the current levels. More than 16 percent of respondents said income tax should be “significantly” or “somewhat” increased, and 52.2 percent said property taxes should be “somewhat” or “significantly” decreased.
“As the Docking Institute continues to provide this service to the citizens of Kansas, our hope is that Kansas Speaks will allow our state legislators and policy-makers to better respond to the will of the people and foster a more democratic state government,” Brinker said.
Other interesting findings from the Executive Summary of the report include:
• Almost 70 percent (69.5) of respondents were very or moderately concerned that the Kansas economy would threaten them or their families’ welfare. Older people were more likely to be concerned than younger people, and people with less education were more likely to be concerned than those with some level of higher education.
•On efforts by Gov. Sam Brownback and the Kansas GOP to improve the Kansas economy, 37 percent were “moderately” or “very satisfied”; 27.8 percent were moderately or very satisified with Democratic Party leaders’ efforts.
•On that same general topic, younger respondents were less likely than older respondents to feel moderately or very satisfied with Democratic Party efforts on the economy, and men were less likely than women to feel levels of satisfaction with Democratic Party efforts.
•Respondents who were more likely to express satisfaction with Republican Party leaders on the Kansas economy were those who had lower levels of education, who were Republican or leaned Republican, or who were white.

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