www.mozilla.com Weather Central
Voices
Headlines

Roberts not the answer -10/30/2014, 10:25 AM

See the signs -10/30/2014, 10:23 AM

Incumbents always win -10/30/2014, 10:23 AM

Convention center -10/30/2014, 10:23 AM

Schodorf for SOS -10/30/2014, 10:14 AM

Supermarket shenanigans -10/29/2014, 10:19 AM

Americans can fix the Senate -10/29/2014, 10:19 AM

A plea to city commissioners -10/28/2014, 8:58 AM

Having no price tag -10/28/2014, 8:58 AM

Leiker understands -10/28/2014, 8:58 AM

Justice doing his job -10/28/2014, 8:58 AM

Kansas and Greg Orman -10/28/2014, 8:58 AM

'Surplus' KDOT money needed in western KS -10/28/2014, 8:58 AM

Ready for a budget spin -10/28/2014, 8:58 AM

Dishonest mailing -10/28/2014, 8:58 AM

Changing Republicans -10/27/2014, 10:02 AM

Follow the votes -10/27/2014, 10:02 AM

Shameful attempts -10/27/2014, 10:02 AM

Slanderous ads repulsive -10/27/2014, 10:02 AM

Medicare experiment -10/27/2014, 10:02 AM

Profile, or die -10/27/2014, 10:02 AM

Important issues -10/27/2014, 10:01 AM

Politics at their finest -10/27/2014, 10:01 AM

Most important election -10/26/2014, 4:02 PM

Enough is enough -10/26/2014, 4:02 PM

Is Roberts on final lap? -10/26/2014, 4:02 PM

Democrat turned Brownback supporter -10/26/2014, 4:02 PM

Editor Bradlee; For it All, 'Thank You' -10/26/2014, 4:02 PM

Davis for governor -10/26/2014, 4:02 PM

Roberts a changed man -10/26/2014, 4:02 PM

Time to stay the course -10/26/2014, 4:02 PM

Embarrassing economists -10/24/2014, 9:13 AM

Sherow for House -10/24/2014, 5:07 PM

It can't get crazier (wanna bet?) -10/24/2014, 9:04 AM

Digital distractions -10/23/2014, 10:01 AM

Orman for Senate -10/23/2014, 10:01 AM

Federal persecutors -10/23/2014, 10:00 AM

More ed cuts coming -10/22/2014, 5:38 PM

Leiker is the answer -10/22/2014, 5:38 PM

Sun shining on schools? -10/22/2014, 5:38 PM

Airline a great addition -10/22/2014, 5:38 PM

Huelksamp: ideologue extraordinaire -10/22/2014, 5:38 PM

Kids do count -10/22/2014, 10:31 AM

Needing the past in the future? -10/22/2014, 10:31 AM

In praise of hunting -10/22/2014, 10:30 AM

What is a CID? Will it work for mall? -10/21/2014, 10:22 AM

Judging importance on the ballot -10/21/2014, 10:22 AM

Kansas Speaks -10/21/2014, 10:22 AM

Paying for schools -10/19/2014, 1:21 PM

Joining forces for Orman -10/19/2014, 1:21 PM

Research before voting -10/19/2014, 1:21 PM

Davis is moderate? -10/19/2014, 1:21 PM

The most important election in your lifetime -10/19/2014, 1:21 PM

Huelskamp stands out -10/19/2014, 1:21 PM

Kansas farm interests -10/19/2014, 1:21 PM

Keeping unfounded reports from 'going viral' -10/19/2014, 1:21 PM

The age of cynicism -10/18/2014, 9:02 AM

Preventable diseases -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

Second term needed -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

Kansans deserve better -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

Officially killing Americans -10/17/2014, 10:27 AM

New era at FHSU -10/16/2014, 10:01 AM

Roberts is right choice -10/16/2014, 10:01 AM

Crumbling Constitution -10/16/2014, 9:52 AM

Redbelly's future -10/16/2014, 9:52 AM

Kansas deserves better -10/15/2014, 10:23 AM

Remember to vote on Nov. 4 -10/15/2014, 10:23 AM

You almost feel sorry for Sean Groubert -10/15/2014, 10:23 AM

Register to vote -10/14/2014, 10:14 AM

Living on that 70 percent -10/14/2014, 10:14 AM

New bullying problem for schools: parents -10/14/2014, 10:14 AM

Cheerios, marriage equality, the Supreme Court -10/13/2014, 9:49 AM

Wedded bliss -10/12/2014, 5:54 PM

Who is the real fraud? -10/12/2014, 5:08 PM

Teenagers 'make some noise' -10/12/2014, 5:08 PM

Not so private property -10/10/2014, 10:01 AM

Federal funding -10/10/2014, 10:01 AM

Teacher indoctrination -10/10/2014, 10:01 AM

Vote Republican -10/9/2014, 9:49 AM

Non-partisan politics -10/9/2014, 9:49 AM

Teen driver safety week Oct. 19 to 25 -10/9/2014, 9:04 AM

FHSU party -10/9/2014, 10:11 AM

Poverty in America -10/9/2014, 10:11 AM

Let the women serve -10/9/2014, 10:11 AM

Time for new direction -10/8/2014, 9:49 AM

Improving Kansas economically -10/8/2014, 9:35 AM

Water abusers -10/8/2014, 9:35 AM

Play safe on the farm -10/8/2014, 9:34 AM

Where the money comes from -10/7/2014, 10:24 AM

The president's security -10/7/2014, 10:24 AM

Marriage equality -10/7/2014, 10:24 AM

The sins of the father are visited -10/6/2014, 9:02 AM

Cannabis in America: The bottom line -10/6/2014, 9:20 AM

A reason to celebrate -10/6/2014, 9:20 AM

Gov. shields wealthy from paying for schools -10/5/2014, 2:07 PM

Passionate protest in defense of civil disorder -10/5/2014, 2:07 PM

October is time for baseball and, of course, film premieres -10/4/2014, 2:16 PM

Alley cleanup -10/3/2014, 10:01 AM

Will the West defend itself? -10/3/2014, 10:01 AM

Find another school -10/3/2014, 10:01 AM

myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
[var top_story_head]

Bigger piece of pie on the backs of taxpayers

Published on -11/11/2013, 8:11 AM

Printer-friendly version
E-Mail This Story

The Kansas Bankers Association is trying to pressure the Kansas Legislature to gamble with an existing, proven and fair mortgage service fee that meets the needs of Kansas counties.

Potentially at stake is a $47 million price tag that would be absorbed by every property owner across the state.

The plan would transfer mortgage filing service fees away from liable filers and onto property owners at-large in the form of a subsidized property tax.

If approved, counties will have little choice but to adopt and implement the same funding mechanism that supports the operation of county government and its services.

If the current service fee were eliminated, all 105 Kansas counties would be compelled to increase their mill levies to make up for the substantial loss. Currently, the fee is equal to about 1 property tax mill's worth of revenue, or 0.26 percent of the principle borrowed for real estate.

It is not going to sit well when all property owners regardless of their own economic situation will be mandated to subsidize their neighbor's mortgage service filing fees. It is really a question of fair treatment and accountability.

Basically, under the new proposal, anyone that takes out a mortgage or refinances their property will now be passing the fee onto everyone else.

Currently, the mortgage registration service fee is a one-time payment to the county, whereas a mill levy tax remains in place as long as the county desires to keep it in place. The mill levy increase could remain in place for many years and eventually end up costing the mortgage filer more money than had they just paid their one-time fee to initially file.

Changing the existing system could have further unintended consequences during an unpredictable economy.

Under a mill levy taxing method, collections are not based on filed mortgages, but on "anticipation of county need requirements," which may never correspond to actual mortgage filings. The potential of a "hidden" property tax increase could be immediately buried in the mill levy even if unintended.

The current service filing fee method corresponds precisely to the mortgage transactions generated. (The more mortgages filed equals the more revenue collected.) There is never an over-taxation or under-collection.

Proponents of the elimination of the mortgage registration fee contend the current system is an obstacle in border counties, because the purchaser of residential or commercial real estate in another state doesn't face the mortgage registration cost imposed on the Kansas buyer.

Kansas does not stand alone with the current equitable service fee collection method.

The KBA also takes issue with the Farm Credit banks whose customers receive a waiver from the mortgage registration fee. In spite of their contention, the Kansas Legislature cannot change federally granted exemptions benefiting Farm Credit banking customers.

As an agricultural state, the Farm Credit mortgage fee waivers were put into place to assist Kansas farmers who refinance as a regular facet of operating and maintaining their farm and equipment. Waivers were not intended for large-scale mortgage financing or refinancing of urban residences.

Mortgage registration service filing fees are not paid by either the realtors or non-farm credit banks. The fees are currently paid by the filers of the mortgage transaction (their customers).

Increased mill levies are not the only concern posed by eliminating the mortgage registration fee. Many communities that intend to preserve notably historic properties will be in jeopardy of losing preservation funding through the Heritage Trust Fund if the new plan is activated.

While counties keep most of the revenue generated from the mortgage registration fee, 0.01 percent collected by statute goes directly into the state's Heritage Trust Fund. In 2011, this collection amounted to approximately $1.4 million, and, in 2012, yielded $1.8 million.

Losing the Heritage fee would be devastating to historical preservation in Kansas communities. The Kansas State Historical Society utilizes this allocation to endow grants for preservation of historical buildings.

Bill Meek, Topeka, is chairman of the Kansas Register of Deeds Association Legislative Committee.

digg delicious facebook stumbleupon google Newsvine
More News and Photos

Associated Press Videos