Kansas considers amendment to cut boat tax

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A Kansas state Senate committee recently passed a resolution to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would allow changes to the state’s property tax on boats.

It is a reform long sought by boating enthusiasts, who say Kansas watercraft taxes far outstrip those of neighboring states, the Topeka Capital-Journal newspaper reported.

The Assessment and Taxation Committee heard testimony on the bill from Kent Craft, the former president of a state boating organization who had previously testified on the issue.

“Open the door to reducing the extremely high personal property tax we have here in Kansas,” he told the committee.

Watercraft in Kansas are classified separately from homes, cars or campers under “all other” personal property — the same category as items such as aircraft. They are taxed on assessed value, which is then multiplied by the local mill levy.

The resolution would place a referendum on the November ballot to allow the legislature to assess boat taxes differently, starting in 2013. It now proceeds to the Senate floor.

A similar referendum failed by a vote by 12,000 votes in the 2000 general election, the newspaper said.

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