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Archive for Thursday, February 17, 2005

Senate vote sends ‘clunker bill’ to Sebelius

February 17, 2005

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— A "clunker bill," offering $5 million in refunds to some Kansans who feel they paid too much sales tax on used vehicles, is on its way to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, thanks to a Senate vote Wednesday.

Senators unanimously approved a version of the bill approved by the House last week. The measure repeals a seven-month-old law that changed how sales tax is calculated when someone buys a used car, truck or van from another individual.

Sebelius has promised to sign the measure.

Besides providing refunds under the bill, the state would forgo some revenue in the future, an estimated $5.2 million for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

Last year's law was designed to catch tax cheats, but critics said it failed to differentiate between vehicles in mint conditions and clunkers. In some cases, values placed on vehicles were double or triple the sale price.

The law said if a schedule prepared for county treasurers placed a value on a vehicle that exceeded the sale price, the higher figure was used to determine the tax.

The Senate approved the bill last month, but the House added amendments to require both buyer and seller to sign statements attesting to the vehicle's sale price. The Senate's vote Wednesday was to accept those changes.

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