Lawmakers finally brought boat taxes in line

However the sales-tax debate turns out, state lawmakers and Gov. Sam Brownback can say they lowered one tax by a whopping 30 percent this year – the property tax on boats and other watercraft. That tax had been so high in Kansas that many residents unlawfully registered and kept their boats in neighboring states. Voters finally passed a constitutional amendment last November authorizing lawmakers to classify and tax watercraft on a different basis from other personal property, and Brownback signed the resulting measure April 16 as part of a larger tax-related bill. Now, boats will be taxed at 11.5 percent of appraised value next year and 5 percent as of 2015. The new tax rate should benefit Kansas boat owners and dealers as well as the state’s lakes, parks and budget.