It's difficult to be boat owner in Kansas. With a high personal property tax on registered vessels, many boaters risk breaking the law in order to keep their boats in neighboring states. However, Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatUS) is urging sunflower state boat owners to head to the polls on November 6th and vote 'yes' on the Boat Property Tax Amendment to allow the legislature to reduce or even remove the personal property tax paid on boats.
Kansas marinas, such as this one on Hillsdale Lake, could see an influx of boats if Kansans vote yes on the Boat Property Tax Amendment, says BoatUS.
Currently in Kansas, recreational boats are filed in the 'other' category of personal property and taxed at 30% of a boat's value by the county mill levy. Passage of the constitutional amendment would allow lawmakers the ability to put watercraft in its own category and lower or even exempt watercraft from personal property tax.
According to a report in the Kansas City Star, an official with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism reports that boat registrations are down by about 20,000, costing the state as much as $1 million in property tax revenue. Currently a $20,000 boat in Kansas is taxed at $750, while in neighboring Oklahoma it carries only $150 property tax bill.
'Boating is solidly middle class, and it creates job opportunities,' said BoatUS President Margaret Podlich. 'Kansas boat owners are moms and dads, your fishing buddies or possibly your neighbors, and taxing them at this high rate hurts both them and the state.'
For years, many Kansans have registered their boats in other states with lower or no personal property tax and the state has lost critical revenue. The constitutional amendment would make it possible for Kansas boat owners to be on par with neighboring states such as Oklahoma and Nebraska that do not have a watercraft tax.
For more information on this issue, go to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism page here. For more information about BoatUS, visit the BoatUS website.