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Legislative Update Week Ten

Property Tax Changes for Machinery and Equipment

The House of Representatives debated and passed a bill that would define the original legislative intent of legislation from 2006 that provided a property tax exemption for commercial and industrial machinery and equipment.  In determining the classification for property tax purposes, the county appraiser is required to conform to the factors set in the personal property guide from the Director of Property Valuation with the Kansas Department of Revenue.  When the proper classification of commercial and industrial machinery and equipment cannot be determined by its use, the appraiser would be required to use the following three-part test:  annexation to the realty, adaptation to the use of the part of the realty to which it is attached and the intention of the party making the annexation. 

The Department of Revenue indicates this bill will not have a fiscal effect on state or local property tax revenues because the bill does not change the definition of commercial and industrial machinery and equipment or the procedure for appraising this type of property.  The bill would put the Department of Revenue’s current appraisal guidance for commercial and industrial machinery and equipment into law.

During debate on the House floor, many legislators state that this is the bill that they have wanted for three years to clarify the intent of the initial bill passed in 2006.

Step in the Right Direction for Charitable Raffles

The Kansas House this week debated a proposed state constitutional amendment that would be under consideration in the general election regarding raffles.  The amendment, if approved by voters, would allow charitable raffles by certain nonprofit organizations.  The proposal would amend Section 3 of Article 15 in the Kansas Constitution to add a provision to permit raffles authorized by the legislature.  The provision would establish that the Legislature may authorize the licensing, conduct and regulation of charitable raffles by nonprofit, religious, charitable, fraternal, educational and veterans organizations.  “Raffle” would mean a game of chance in which each participant buys a ticket or tickets from a nonprofit organization, with each ticket providing equal chance to win a prize and the winner being determined by a random drawing. 

Reorganization of the Court of Tax Appeals

On Thursday, March 20, 2014, the House of Representatives passed House Substitute for SB 231, which would rename the Kansas Court of Tax Appeals to the Kansas Board of Tax Appeals.  The change to the name “Board of Tax Appeals” is said to give a more accurate representation of that administrative agency and not a court that possesses judicial authority.  This bill would mandate that the board’s members complete education and training requirements and until completion, board member’s compensation would be equal to that of an administrative law judge.  After completing the training, their salaries would be slightly less than the salary paid to the chief judge of a district court.

House Substitute for SB 231 would accelerate decisions made by the board from its current 120 days requiring a summary decision to be made within fourteen days and a full decision to be made within ninety days.  Filing fees would be refunded if the board were to fail in delivering a summary or full decision within their respective windows of time.  Additionally, this bill would provide increased appeals options for taxpayers and by allowing them to take the case de novo, meaning to start over, to the district court.

House Substitute for SB 231 aims to create a more fair and efficient tax appeals process which would help to achieve an even healthier business climate across the state of Kansas.  The changes contained in this bill would make doing business in Kansas more affordable and sends a message that the state of Kansas is open for business.  The vote on this bill was 123-0.

National Day of the Cowboy, Pages & Contact Information

Tuesday, March 25, 2014, we debated a bill that would designate the last Saturday in July of each year as the National Day of the Cowboy in Kansas.  This designation would also have the governor authorize and direct a proclamation every year calling upon state officials to display the U.S. flag on all state buildings and for Kansans to observe the day of recognition.  Also on Tuesday, I had four pages that served in the Kansas House of Representatives.  The pages were Whitley Leiker and Jordynn Guenot of Russell, as well as Ross and Reed McNett from Larned.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact my office at (785) 296-7672, visit my website at www.troywaymaster.com  or email me at troy.waymaster@house.ks.gov.  It is an honor to serve the 109th Kansas House District and the state of Kansas. Once again, do not hesitate to contact me with your thoughts, concerns and questions.  I appreciate the perspectives from the residents of the 109th House District and others from the state of Kansas. 


Paid for by Troy Waymaster for 109th Kansas House, James Malone, Treasurer
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