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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Boat tax amendment passes

  • McPherson County residents have voted in favor of an amendment that could lower boat taxes.
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  • McPherson County residents have voted in favor of an amendment that could lower boat taxes.
    According to the Associated Press, Kansas voters were giving support to a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would change the way boats are taxed.
    Unofficial returns early Wednesday indicated the measure was narrowly passing with 90 percent of the vote counted.
    If the state follows suit, the amendment on the Nov. 6 ballot would be the first step in moving Kansas tax rates closer to that of surrounding states.
    6,443 “yes” votes trumped 4,371 “no” votes in the final McPherson County count.
    All watercrafts — defined as a boat of any size powered by gasoline, diesel, electric, oars or sails — are currently classified as any other property. An amendment, however, would allow the legislature to classify and tax watercrafts separately.
    Kansas' fees are significantly higher than surrounding states Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri, Texas and Iowa, which have no property tax on watercrafts. To avoid Kansas' high rates, an estimated 10,000 residents are unlawfully registering their watercrafts outside of the state. This practice is difficult to trace and looses county and state revenue.
    The 2012 estimated assessed value of all McPherson County  watercrafts, which includes boats, motors and trailers, is $1,108,896. The tax revenue on this would be about $144,156, according to McPherson County appraisers.
    McPherson County has about 1,130 registered watercrafts.

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