In last November’s election, a majority of Kansas voters supported amending the state constitution to allow legislators to change the way watercraft are taxed. Legislators acted on the issue this spring, and the result was the passage of SB83 which Governor Brownback signed on April 16. The new law will tax boats at 11.5 percent of assessed value in 2014 and 5 percent in 2015 and thereafter.
Currently, watercraft in Kansas are taxed at 30 percent of the assessed value, which often results in a property tax many times greater than that paid by boat owners in neighboring states. Because of that disparity, thousands of Kansas boaters have opted to register their boats in other states. As a result, Kansas counties lose out on the property taxes and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism receives less funding from boat registrations. The fee for registering a boat in Kansas is $30 for three years, and that money goes to boater education programs, boat access facilities and other recreational boating programs. Kansas also receives U.S. Coast Guard funding based on the number of registered boats.
This change is good news for boaters, as well as marine dealers since it may prompt Kansans to upgrade their boat or buy a new boat. And it should convince Kansans to register their boats here.
Image courtesy Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism