Published on -10/28/2012, 8:25 AM
Vote yes on the watercraft constitutional amendment Nov. 6.
The airwaves and our mailboxes are full of information about the candidates in the upcoming election. But also important is a constitutional amendment that -- if passed -- will allow for fairer taxation of watercraft (boats) and make Kansas watercraft taxation competitive with surrounding states. Some voters might ask, "Why should I care?"
Property taxes on watercraft in Kansas are so high they impede boat ownership, limiting families' opportunity for wholesome water recreation. Compared to surrounding states, Kansas watercraft property taxes are so high many Kansans register their boats in neighboring states, so Kansas counties lose property tax revenue. The high tax rates also reduce in-state boat sales, impacting our marinas, boat dealers, and reducing state sales tax revenue.
The Legislature showed bipartisan, overwhelming support -- 121 to 2 in the House and 40 to 0 in the Senate -- for placing this amendment on the ballot. The amendment might be difficult to understand because the ballot includes the entire article of the Constitution that is affected, not just the change. The only change is the addition of the words "and watercraft." Adding just those two words will give the Legislature the opportunity to create a fairer tax treatment of watercraft. You can give them that opportunity by voting yes.
This change is good for Kansas and Kansas families, and we encourage you to vote yes on the amendment.
Robin Jennison, secretary, Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism