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Sedgwick County leads Kansas in federal money received

  • Kansas City Star
  • Published Saturday, April 13, 2013, at 4:24 p.m.
  • Updated Saturday, April 13, 2013, at 6:51 p.m.

In 2004, each Sumner County resident paid an average of 67 cents in federal taxes for every $1 that flowed back to the county in federal spending — for Social Security, food stamps, federal salaries, grants and other programs.

Sedgwick County residents paid more: 88 cents for every dollar in federal spending.

Even so, Sedgwick County receives far more federal money than any county in Kansas — more than $3.2 billion in 2004, and $4.6 billion in 2010.

Elsewhere in Kansas, Wyandotte County received $1.1 billion in 2004, while Johnson County took in $1.9 billion that year.

Sedgwick County’s long ties with the military, both in procurement and employment, are a big reason why the spending figure is higher in Sedgwick than any other county in the state. In 2004, the government spent $867 million buying goods and services in Wichita, far more than in any other Kansas county.

In 2010, Washington spent $4.6 billion in Sedgwick County, including more than $1.2 billion in procurement and $667 million salaries and wages.

The biggest recipient of federal salary and wage spending in Kansas? Geary County, home to part of Fort Riley. It took in $2.8 billion in federal wages in 2010, almost half of all federal wage spending in the state.

The 2004 tax and spending ratios are old but appear to be fair. It’s likely the gap between taxes and spending in each of the counties has grown wider since then; while federal tax revenue increased about 15 percent from 2004 to 2010, federal spending grew by 30 percent in the same period.

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