Archive for Monday, April 1, 1991


April 1, 1991


— A bill that is intended to correct the so-called alphabet inequity of the state's motor vehicle tax system creates a different type of inequity, a House committee was told today.

Chris McKenzie, Douglas County administrator, told the House Taxation Committee that the proposal would shift the inequity from the back end of the alphabet to the front.

``Those in the front end get to pay more than those in the back,'' he complained to the committee.

The bill was recommended by a legislative study committee that examined the problem of the state motor vehicle tax system last summer. Under that system, those whose names began at the front of the alphabet paid less than those whose names began at the end. That occurs because the state uses a staggered system of motor vehicle tax collection, and some people's cars are depreciated faster because of the month in which they pay their taxes.

The bill, which has been passed by the Senate, would accelerate depreciation over two years.

The bill would put in statute regulation changes that have been by the Department of Revenue since Atty. Gen. Bob Stephan last summer ruled that the motor vehicle tax system is unconstitutional. Those regulation changes are only temporary, however.

``The equity problem has obviously been a real concern and has raised most of the questions being asked,'' said Douglas County Treasurer Nancy L. Hempen. ``I still believe the real question that needs answering is, `what is equitable?'''

She also told the House Taxation Committee the measure would cause local units of government to lose about $17 million statewide.

``A solution to the revenue loss is still needed,'' Mrs. Hempen said.

Donald Seifert, assistant director for administrative services for Olathe, said he supports the bill's concept, but added that solving the equity problem should not come at the expense of local government.

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