Topeka The rule that results in Kansans whose names come at the end of the alphabet having to pay higher property taxes on their motor vehicles will be eliminated at the start of the year.
A regulation proposed by the Kansas Department of Revenue to make the change was approved Monday by the State Rules and Regulations Board. It will mean a cut of 7.6 percent, or $23 million a year, in automobile property tax collections.
The Revenue Department said the regulation's effective date was delayed until Jan. 1 so necessary computer program changes could be made.
Under the current taxing system, vehicle owners pay property tax when they register, in months staggered through the year alphabetically. The vehicle's value is depreciated 16 percent annually, starting with the registration renewal in the calendar year after it is bought.
IF MOTORISTS whose last names ended in A and T bought identical cars in June, the one starting with A would pay prorated tax at new car rates only through February, then would renew for a full year at the depreciated rate. The one whose name starts with T would pay the prorated tax through November, then renew for a full year at the new-car rate.
Under the new regulation, the depreciated value will be figured into the formula, effective Jan. 1, regardless of when the car is registered, and tax bills will drop for those with surnames at the end of the alphabet. The depreciation will be received for that portion of the registration period that falls into the second year.
REPRESENTATIVES from Johnson, Sedgwick and Douglas counties will meet Friday with the Special Legislative Committee on Assessment and Taxation to seek legislation that would change the way tax bills are figured so that new countywide average tax levies are used.
The levies used to figure automobile taxes are two years old. Using newer averages would soften the impact of the new regulation.
Atty. Gen. Bob Stephan challenged the validity of the law in the Kansas Supreme Court, and class-action lawsuits were also filed in Johnson and Shawnee Counties.