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Supporters of Property Tax Lid Ask Kansas Lawmakers to Strengthen It

The Kansas Statehouse. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

A bill under consideration in the Kansas Statehouse would speed up implementation of a law making it more difficult for city and county governments to raise local taxes. Supporters of the so-called property tax lid told a Senate committee Tuesday that the restriction on tax increases should be strengthened and put on the fast track.

The law, passed last year, bars local governments from increasing property taxes faster than the rate of inflation without a public vote.

Lawmakers are now considering cutting back exemptions to the rule and putting it into effect later this year, instead of 2018. Luke Bell, with the Kansas Association of Realtors, says waiting until 2018 allows tax increases to be put into place before the tax lid takes effect.

"The worst thing we possibly could have done last year is pass this legislation and say it's going to go into effect in two years. What we've done is given cities and counties an artificial incentive to raise taxes for the next two years," says Bell.
Opponents of the property tax lid have said it ties the hands of local governments and might cause them to cut back services if they can't raise needed revenue. Critics of the bill will share their concerns Wednesday.

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