KS ballot initiative asks voters about changing boat tax - KCTV5

KS ballot initiative asks voters about changing boat tax

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With two weeks left until election day, there's one question for Kansas voters that could change the way boats are taxed.

The Kansas ballot initiative Kansas Constitutional Amendment Question will affect boat owners. The amendment will ask Kansans whether they want to allow their lawmakers to change property taxes associated with boats.

"It's about the biggest catfish or the biggest bass, but not the tax," said Johnson County boat owner Nancy Hammond.

Hammond is an avid fisher and boater and she said she didn't even know about the ballot initiative that could allow Kansas legislators to change the boating tax.

"They are going to raise it - you and I know that - they're going to raise it," she said.

Nearly 100,000 boaters pay a 30 percent property tax. It earned Kansas $89 million in revenue in 2010 and is five times higher than Oklahoma and higher in Missouri depending on the county.

"I didn't know it was going to be a ballot initiative so that's something I need to look into," Bill Kamm said.

Kamm registers his boat in Kansas, but thousands of others like him choose to register in neighboring states to avoid the higher tax.

The attorney for the State Parks and Wildlife Department said the intent of the ballot question was to allow legislators to lower the tax.

The question does not specify any lowering of taxes. If voters say yes to the amendment, it will simply give legislators the ability to change the tax. If voters say no, the boating tax will remain at 30 percent.

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