Tuesday, September 02, 2014

TYSON: Fighting hard to session’s end

By CARYN TYSON, Kansas State Senator | 5/7/2014

The 2014 legislative session came to a close at about 2 a.m. Saturday when the resolution to end the session passed. Some bills completed in the last three days of the session touched on the Court of Tax Appeals (COTA), education funding, and Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) regulation changes.

• Senate Bill 231 makes a number of changes to the Court of Tax Appeals. The most notable being the court now will be renamed as the Board Of Tax Appeals (BOTA). The board will be required to have at least one person appointed who is a certified property appraiser. Any appeal decisions and board opinions are required to be completed within statutory deadlines. All appeals must be made available to the public. The legislation is an attempt to address the many complaints regarding the Court of Tax Appeals. The bill passed the state Senate 26-13. I voted yes.

The 2014 legislative session came to a close at about 2 a.m. Saturday when the resolution to end the session passed. Some bills completed in the last three days of the session touched on the Court of Tax Appeals (COTA), education funding, and Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) regulation changes.

• Senate Bill 231 makes a number of changes to the Court of Tax Appeals. The most notable being the court now will be renamed as the Board Of Tax Appeals (BOTA). The board will be required to have at least one person appointed who is a certified property appraiser. Any appeal decisions and board opinions are required to be completed within statutory deadlines. All appeals must be made available to the public. The legislation is an attempt to address the many complaints regarding the Court of Tax Appeals. The bill passed the state Senate 26-13. I voted yes.

• House Substitute for SB 245 makes changes in several areas. One is how school districts’ property tax levy (20 mills), which is required by the state, is remitted. The 20 mills now will be remitted to the state treasurer and deposited in the State School District Finance Fund (SSDFF) and then is distributed to the school districts. This legislation will not impact the dollar amount each school district receives from the 20 mills. Currently, this money is distributed to the school districts with the exception of excess local effort, which is transferred to the State School District Finance Fund. This legislation will help address the school funding issue in providing a simpler way to account for funding. The bill also distributes and abolishes the Oil Gas Valuation Depletion Trust Fund (OGVDTF) by July 1, 2016, while creating the Mineral Production Education Fund (MPEF) July 1, 2016. That fund would be 20 percent of mineral severance taxes collected during the previous fiscal year in counties with receipts in excess of $100,000. Twice a year the Mineral Production Education Fund monies would be transferred to the State School District Finance Fund. I voted for the bill. It passed the Senate 30-9.

• Some of my constituents are familiar with the Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) issues that were caused by the changed requirements, including the gross combination weight rating of 26,000 pounds in intrastate requiring a certificate license. House Substitute for SB 273 was an attempt to address some of the complaints concerning CMVs. The bill would exempt some of the intrastate CMV regulations (not regulations about securing a load and periodic inspections) for one year. In this time-frame, the issues are to be studied by the Kansas Corporation Commission. Agriculture vehicles remain exempt from these regulations. The bill passed the Senate unanimously.

• It is disappointing that House Bill 2557, one of the many bills that died at the end of session, did not become law. The bill would have allowed Kansas taxpayers to deduct a portion of their losses against their income (a deduction you can take on federal income tax 1040 forms, Schedule C, E, and F). Though the bill died, I fought hard and will continue to fight for small business owners and individual taxpayers.

Caryn Tyson, R-Parker, represents Franklin County and the 12th District in the Kansas Senate.

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