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Kansas officials support phasing out boat taxes

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- Gov. Sam Brownback's administration is proposing phasing out property taxes on watercraft by 2016.

Watercraft is currently taxed at 30 percent, prompting criticism that boat owners often register their watercraft in other states to avoid the high taxes.

In November, about 53 percent of Kansas voters approved an initiative to allow lawmakers to reduce property taxes on watercraft.

The Wichita Eagle reports (http://bit.ly/10yOzSW ) the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism announced a plan Monday to tax boats at 20 percent starting in 2014 and 10 percent in 2015. Watercraft would be exempt from property taxes beginning in 2016 and beyond.

The department also proposed stricter laws for boating under the influence and requiring everyone to take boater education courses.