KARE: Defend KS Rail-Trails

KanBikeWalk Action Request Email: Your Immediate Action is needed to stop this assault on rail-trails in Kansas!

A bill has been introduced at the State House in Topeka, HB 2735. Hearing is schedule for Monday, Mar 5 at 1:30 PM. It could cost recreational trails over $100,000 per year statewide. It is an attempt to value the land under a recreational trail right of way as high as possible and charges the taxes to the trail operator. Currently, counties are exempting rail trails or are valuing the land at $0.00, much like t he public greenways and trails in many KS cities. No one is paying taxes on the land and the counties and municipalities want to keep it that way. This bill was created by special interest groups whose goal is to stop recreational trail development.

A hearing on the bill will be held Monday, March 5th at 1:30 in the Committee on Transportation. During testimony, the Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy will introduce an amendment to the bill that will exempt rail trail rights of way from property taxes and will keep everything as it is currently. Please see the attached amended bill.

The amended bill would:

• NOT violate Article 11, Section 1 of the Kansas Constitution. The bill as currently written is unconstitutional.

• NOT decrease the amount of property taxes collected in any counties, as all counties are currently exempting rail-trail rights of way or apprising them at $0.00.

• Give adjacent landowners the certainty of knowing that they will not be forced to pay any amount of taxes for which they are not personally responsible.

• Allow volunteer recreational trail developers and donors certainty of knowing that the money rose will not be used to pay taxes but will be used to develop recreational trails for all Kansans.

• Fulfill the Court of Tax Appeals requirement requiring a statute specifically exempting recreational trail rights of way from property taxes.

KanBikeWalk will be testifying at the Transportation Committee hearing, but we need you voice to increase the importance of our message to the Committee. Two things you can do right now in just a few minutes:

1. Please share this with your friends that support bicycling, walking and trails in Kansas.
2. Contact your state representative and the members of the committee and voice your opposition to HB 2735 as submitted and tell them you support a proposed amendment to be introduced at the hearing by KRTC President Doug Walker.

You can find more information here: http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2011_12/measures/hb2735/

Also, feel free to contact Scott Allen, KRTC, or me. We’ll gladly give you more details.

Members of the Committee on Transportation:

gary.hayzlett@house.ks.gov Chairman
willie.prescott@house.ks.gov Vice Chairman
vince.wetta@house.ks.gov
tom.arpke@house.ks.gov
james.fawcett@house.ks.gov
john.grange@house.ks.gov
bob.grant@house.ks.gov
jerry.henry@house.ks.gov
brett.hildabrand@house.ks.gov
don.hill@house.ks.gov
bob.montgomery@house.ks.gov
eber.phelps@house.ks.gov
joann.pottorff@house.ks.gov
richard.proehl@house.ks.gov
sheryl.spalding@house.ks.gov
vern.swanson@house.ks.gov
jerry.williams@house.ks.gov
bill.wolf@house.ks.gov
ron.worley@house.ks.gov

Comments

  1. Scott Perkins says:

    What is the current status of HB 2735?
    thanks
    Scott

  2. HB 2735 died in the Senate Transportation Committee. However, we are watching other bills to see it is amended or similar language is amended to another bill.