Archive for Monday, March 4, 2013

Editorial: Tax shift

A move to reclassify certain property in the state likely will shift more of the tax burden to individual property owners.

March 4, 2013


It’s difficult to pay attention to what’s happening in Topeka these days when most of our energy and attention is spent moving snow, worrying about getting to work or getting the kids to their schools and activities as winter delivers a late-season pair of punches.

But the Kansas Association of Counties has highlighted House Bill 2285, which may be deserving of as much attention as any slippery sidewalk or snow-packed pavement.

That piece of legislation would change the definition of some items for tax purposes, and the upshot is that certain businesses will get a break on property taxes and — you guessed it! — the load likely will end up being passed on to residential homeowners, farm land and small businesses.

At issue are items that for 100 years have been classified as “fixtures.” Heretofore, if an item was a fixture, it was part of real property for tax purposes. If you’re scratching your head, an example of a fixture within a structure would be the heating and air conditioning equipment. This bill would reclassify certain fixtures and in effect move them from taxable status to tax-exempt personal property. Elevators, loading platforms and the like would be reclassified, the county association warns.

The state’s property valuation division has provided information estimating that in Montgomery County, 54 percent of the tax base would be shifted. In McPherson County, it would be 24 percent. In Douglas County it would be only 0.18 of a percent. Here are the changes for other area counties: Leavenworth, 0.3 of a percent; Franklin, 1.09 percent; Jefferson, 0.77 of a percent; Johnson, 0.1 of a percent, Osage, 1.92 percent, and Shawnee, 0.6 of a percent.

Statewide, the change would be 1.92 percent. According to the county association, the state budget division indicates the bill would cause a loss of nearly $583 million in assessed valuation — translating into a statewide loss of $76 million of property taxes and a loss of $11.7 million for the Brownback budget.

Where is that money going to come from? Hint: Look in the mirror, then look at your checkbook.

This would be as palatable as insisting that you take the chains off your car tires and then expecting you to drive up 14th Street to the top of Mount Oread before the snow and ice are cleared.

There’s simply no compelling reason for making this change in state law.


buffalo63 4 years, 9 months ago

Another example of the soon to fail conservative Kansas experimental lab.

UneasyRider 4 years, 9 months ago

Easy answer as to why this is being done. Kochs told Brownback what they wanted, Brownback told his lackys in Legislature to do it, so it's being done.

Paul R Getto 4 years, 9 months ago

Are you still glad you blew Mr. Brownback's trumpet when he was running for office, Sir? He is doing what he said he would do if he got the chance.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 9 months ago

The JW clearly doesn't speak with a single editorial voice. And this particular voice is clearly not that of Dolph, who will always endorse the Republican candidate, no matter what they say or do.

snitty 4 years, 9 months ago

Oh, but there is a compelling reason: this is a direct gift to the oil-and-gas lobby, whose storage tanks and other such business facilities in Kansas will now be un-taxed. Remember whom to thank when your property tax bill jumps higher than its ever been.

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 9 months ago

Should we expect to see that exploding growth in the Kansas economy anytime soon?

Or does that explosion only apply to a select few who have seen their after tax (no tax) net profits soar?

texburgh 4 years, 9 months ago

And yet these decisions are being made by the very lawmakers and governors that the LJW ALWAYS endorses. It won't matter what Brownback and his owners at the Kansas Chamber ultimately do. The LJW will back them up no matter what come 2014.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 9 months ago

ALEC Brownback hard at work on the facist agenda. His sidekick Arthur Laffer from the beltway is in Topeka bringing Supply Side Economics to Kansas..... after all Laffer is the artist of Supply Side Economics..... living off our tax dollars.

tomatogrower 4 years, 9 months ago

Subsidizing the wealthy. Poor rich people. The poor just need to make them richer, so they can pretend to create jobs.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 4 years, 9 months ago

Take the bait. This is just one persons opinion. I doubt much of it is true. It is called managing by fear sheeple.

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