Archive for Sunday, October 28, 2012

Amendment dealing with boat taxes on ballot

October 28, 2012


A constitutional amendment on the November ballot will let Kansas residents decide whether to reduce property taxes on boat owners, bringing the state’s rates in line with others in the Midwest.

Amendment proponents say the current tax rate on boats is 30 percent of value multiplied by the county’s tax mill levy. In some instances, that’s eight times higher than adjoining states, prompting some Kansas boat owners to register their craft elsewhere. A $20,000 boat in Oklahoma would cost $150 in property taxes, while the same boat in Kansas would bring a $750 tax bill, proponents say.

The amendment is being pushed by the state’s Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, as well as state bass fishing organizations and marine watercraft sales firms.

Boat registrations are down about 20 percent in Kansas over the last decade, to about 83,000 annually. The loss of 20,000 sales reduces the state’s annual tax revenue by about $1 million a year, said Dan Hesket, the boating law administrator for the wildlife department.

“It’s our belief that if this passes, we’d be bringing those registrations back into Kansas,” said Don Leatherman, president of the Kansas Bass Federation Nation. “It’s kind of counterproductive, as we see it. People are registering and housing boats out of state. It’s kind of a deterrent to visiting Kansas, actually. If we can get the number down to a fair tax, we can fix that.”

The proposed amendment standardizes boat taxation with other recreational vehicles. A similar amendment for recreational vehicles, which was passed in 1992, substantially cut taxes on those vehicles, which are currently valued according to vehicle weight and age, said Rep. Jeff King, R-Independence.

“We tax boats differently than almost any other kind of vehicle in Kansas,” he said. “Much differently, and much higher than any other state.”

Salina sportsman Bob Roberts is skeptical of the proposed amendment, saying someone who can afford a $50,000 boat can afford the property tax bill.


skinny 5 years, 6 months ago

Salina sportsman Bob Roberts is skeptical of the proposed amendment, saying someone who can afford a $50,000 boat can afford the property tax bill.

Ok, Bob, it's not about whether someone can afford the taxes, it is about being fair!!! IF I had a boat I wouldn't pay the high taxes here in Kansas either. I'd register it in anointer state too!

JackMcKee 5 years, 6 months ago

I sold my boat and swore off ever owning another one after dealing with property tax Nazis.

But how the !$#% is Kansas going to cut every tax at the same time?

gccs14r 5 years, 6 months ago

Mine doesn't meet the minimum threshhold for being taxed. One year they just decided that I didn't need to pay any more. It was only about $7, anyway.

RubyVrooom 5 years, 6 months ago

Well, by getting rid of things like funding for the arts, and education, and of course the food tax refund for low-income families was repealed. That's how.

KS 5 years, 6 months ago

The boating industry in Kansas is almost dead, due to this tax. It will continue to die if this is not fixed. I used to own a boat in Kansas and every year dreaded receiving the tax bill on a boat almost twenty years old. Kansas did the same thing a few years ago for the RV Industry and I can guarantee you that those things cost a whole bunch more than a $50,000 boat. Level the playing field.

sherbert 5 years, 6 months ago

and that seems a lot higher than taxes on a car of the same value.

headdoctor 5 years, 6 months ago

They were a bit sneaky in sliding this one on to the ballot while making headlines on other things that shouldn't have been an issue. I think the Kansas law makers didn't think this one all the way through in the way the amendment is worded. If voters bother to actually read it, one could easily come to the conclusion that it gives them the power to do as they please in reducing or removing the tax. Some many may view this as just another Republican attempt to let the more wealthy off the hook for taxes on their expensive toys.

patkindle 5 years, 6 months ago

poor people that own 50K boats should be allowed to have them liscensed in states with a lower tax rate, it is only fair. t

pauldegeorge 5 years, 6 months ago

"The loss of 20,000 sales reduces the state’s annual tax revenue by about $1 million a year"

OK sure, maybe those 20,000 registrations come back to Kansas. But this article fails to present the other side of the argument. If the current tax rate is dropped (say by 80% as the Oklahoma example seems to indicate), it would likely cost Kansas about $4 million a year in revenue because all 100,000 boats would be taxed at a significantly lower rate.

KS 5 years, 6 months ago

By George, I think you got it! If you don't make the change, you are going to continue to lose revenue by losing boaters to other states. Duh!

gccs14r 5 years, 6 months ago

Maybe the trick is to close the out-of-state registration loophole, or charge a higher ramp fee for out-of-state boats.

canusayduh 5 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, that's a good way to get tourists in to visit...gouge them!

Shane Garrett 5 years, 6 months ago

The rational is to get Kansas boat owners to register their boats with Kansas and pay a fair and competitive registration tax to the state of Kansas. Not Oklahoma, or that state to the east which shall not be named. That only seems logical to me.

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