The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 15, 1998 · Page 8
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 8

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Friday, May 15, 1998
Page 8
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A8 FRIDAY. MAY 15. 1998 GREAT PLAINS THE SALINA JOURNAL T COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ASSOCIATION Tax exemptions cutting ability to tax businesses Legislative analyst also concerned about tax effect of retail wheeling By SHARON MONTAGUE Tlfe Salina Journal ^,r* One county offers 50 percent tax exemptions for five years to businesses creating $12-an-hour jobs. Another county offers 100 percent tax exemptions for five years to businesses creating any jobs. Where will the business go? -As more local governments offer .tax incentives, the ability to tsuj businesses at all is eroding, Chris Courtwright said Thursday at the Karisas County Commissioners Association convention. Courtwright is principal analyst for the Kansas Legislative Re- se^rch Department, staffing Senate and House tax committees since 1986. ''The business of taxing businesses^'has been taxing since 1989, Courtwright said, when the Legislate took businesses off the tax rttlls. ^his year, legislators agreed to keep the personal property tax on business machinery and equipment but also is rewarding businesses that filed on time with 15 percent income tax refunds. "At the local level, communities competing to attract businesses and industries are giving away lucrative tax exemptions and industrial revenue bonds. • "At what point will counties be unable to tax businesses?" Ctfurtwright asked, noting that once something is exempted from the tax rolls, it's rarely returned. "The ability to tax certain types of businesses will be declining the next several years." T OPEN MEETINGS LAW Graves to decide on meetings Governor pressured to veto bill expanding law on open meetings Bfy The Associated Press Retail wheeling, the deregulation of electric utilities in the state, also could play havoc with the state's tax system, Courtwright said. Electric utilities are appraised annually by the state and assessed taxes at 33 percent of appraised value. Commercial property is assessed at 25 percent of its appraised value. If retail wheeling opens up electric sales to out-of-state corporations, Courtwright said, there will be a move to lower the property tax assessment rate on electric utilities to 25 percent, which could require a constitutional amendment. To persuade voters to approve such a measure, Courtwright said, an incentive such as a reduction from 11.5 percent to 10.5 percent in the assessment rate for residential property might have to be incl^id- ed in the amendment. v All of which would lower the state's total assessed property value, requiring an increase in local tax levies required to fund government. Electric rates are expected to be lower after deregulation, Courtwright said, but homeowners won't remember the lower electric bills when they receive their higher tax bills. Other topics Other topics Courtwright discussed Thursday included: • The Kansas economy: With sales, income and property taxes to fund government, Kansas has a diversified revenue source, Courtwright said, which places the state in good stead should the economy experience a downturn. • A bill that would have required property reappraisal every two years instead of every year: The Legislature failed to pass the bill. Courtwright said the legislation would have forced a shift in TOPEKA — Gov. Bill Graves GRAVES ; t Wi 826-1701 1-800-783-1711 736 N. 9th. Salina property tax burdens and been unfair to property owners in areas in which values were declining. The bill also would have simply delayed increases in appraisals. The owner of a $100,000 house might have been unhappy to see the value of the house increase by $4,000 in one year but would have gone ballistic seeing the value increase by $8,000 in two years. • Another failed bill that would have capped residential property value increases to the rate of inflation in any given year: Courtwright said the bill would have caused big tax equity problems. A house in Johnson County that might have gone up 8 percent to 12 percent in value would be capped at a 4 percent increase. A house in Central Topeka with an unchanged value of $35,000 would remain valued at $35,000. The Johnson County homeowner would no longer be paying tax based on the fair market value of the property, but the Topeka homeowner would. • A change in the Kansas Board of Tax Appeals: This will provide some relief for Kansas counties, which no longer will have to pay hearing officers to hear appeals of property values. will do. Asked whether he he saji, "I'm going to do my job." The bill would overturn a recent legal opinion from Stovall on "serial" communications or arrange- meiits such as "calling trees." Un- dgj\such arrangements, one pub- litypfficial calls another, and the second official calls a third. Kansas law requires a meeting to be open to the public if it involves a majority of a quorum of a government board or commission. For example, a nine-member city council's quorum would be five, so that a meeting would have to be open if three members, a majority of a quorum, participated. Stovall said serial communications and calling trees violate the law because they allow a majority of,a quorum, or even a majority of all' members, to discuss public business secretly. ""Many legislators and local officials said her interpretation is too broad and could prevent the shar- iri'g of information. WORLD WIDE WINDOWS, INC. REPLACEMENT WINDOWS | MADE IN SAUNA Where windows are our business, not just a side line. FREE ESTIMATES] MAURI WEIGEL Auto - Home Insurance Phone 827-2906 115 East Iron We Need... Clothing • Furniture • Miscellaneous Pick-up's Available SALVATION ARMY THRIFT STORE Mon.-Sat. 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. 157 S. 5th • Salina 823-1409 10% oK all in stock Lamp Shades (with this ad) Sale ends May 30 Open: Tuesday thru Saturday loam - 3pm TOO MANY BILLS? CONSOLIDATE $10,000 - $nO/mo $50,000 - $550/mo NO EQUITY REQUIRED Homeowners Only NATIONWIDE 1-800-819-7010 Or Visit Our Website! will announce today whether proposed changes in the Kansas Open Meetings Act will become law, arriid outside pressure for a veto. Critics contend the proposed changes would create a giant loop- hoje in the current law, designed to | ensure that government business is conducted in public. Among the most vocal opponents are news organizations, but Attorney General Carla Stovall also is seeking a veto. Supporters of the bill contend tfte criticism exaggerates its possible, effects. The changes have strong support from city, county and, other local officials. "Graves has given no hint about VETERANS of FOREIGN WARS of the UNITED STATES POST #1432 will have their annual "BUDDY POPPY SALE" Friday, May 15th at the Post Office & City Co. Building Saturday, May 16th throughout the City of Salina Because America's Veterans believed in "Justice for all," they left the safety of their homes & families to serve their country defending its principles. They kept the battle for freedom from touching U.S. soil. Their sacrifice was great, their bravery beyond question. Poppy Day pays tribute to the veteran, both living and dead and reminds Americans of their debt to those who served so well. You can also mail your contribution to VFW Post #1432, 1108 W. Crawford, Salina, KS 67401and specify "Buddy Poppy." WEAR YOUR BUDDY POPPY PROUDLY Leon P. Kashkin - Alice Jones Poppy Chairpersons 827-3767 - 827-4866' GENE P. OTEY - Commander Ulllllllll IIIl|illllil llllill Ill - BOTH PRICES INCLUDE • ANY FRAME IN STOCK WITH LENSES! • OVER 750 FRAMES ON DISPLAY! • NO LIMITED SELECTION! • PROGRESSIVE MULTIFOCALS $109.85 INCLUDING ANY FRAME WITH LENSES • WE CAN FILL YOUR DOCTOR'S PRESCRIPTION! •Fix's up to (+) or (-) 8.00 diopters on up to a (-) 2.00 cylinder, with adds no higher than (+) 3.00. additional charge If oversized lenses are required. Photochromatics, Prism Lenses, Invisible Progressive Lenses and other options available at similar savings. Eye exam not included GIBSON PHARMACY & OPTICAL 321 SOUTH BROADWAY • 785-825-0524 In Gibson Discount Center • Salina Cellular One Introduces super saver airfares. New PCS rate plans with up to 50 % more minutes. Included airtime Monthly cost 90 min. $29 99 150 min. $ 36 99 Plans always include: Call-waiting • Call-forwarding • Conference calling To more places. New expanded 16-State Home Calling area, Now you can get better connections to more cities with our expanded digital calling Free weekends for 6 months if you sign up now area- with no roaming charges. Which means you'll be able to save money while covering a lot more ground. NEC Phone Special $ 9.95 NEC 810 CELLULARONE Clear Across Americar BRING IN THIS AD FOR A GIFT WITH YOUR PURCHASE" CELLULAR ONE LOCATIONS CELLULAR ONE EXPRESS LOCATIONS New rates available to new and existing customers. Equipment and ainime offers are valid for new activations on quail service plans. Free Weekends cannot be combined w ericq.Toll-Free. Fre Salina 1931 S. Ohio 823-1774 Salina Wal-Mart 2900 S. Ninth St. 822-4020 ougn n:?yp and airtime is limited to 3,000 mules over a 6 month period. e bill in full minule incre- State Plaza 2520 S. Ninth 823-1414 or 1-800-279-5825 rouned up to t minute. Airtime from lime Concordia Wal-Mart 1502 Lincoln 243-7088

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