Kansas governor signs tax relief bill for farmers, ranchers

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Published Thursday, May 26, 2022
by Chris Woodward | The Center Square contributor

(The Center Square) - Kansas Governor Laura Kelly signed legislation into law this week that cuts taxes for farmers and ranchers impacted by natural disasters. 

House Bill 2239 provides a sales tax exemption for agricultural fencing and allows county commissions to abate property taxes for damaged properties when the governor has declared a disaster.

The relief comes roughly six months after the December 2021 wildfires.

"When disaster strikes, Kansans need help getting back on their feet," the governor said at the signing ceremony on Monday. "Cutting taxes provides financial relief for farmers and ranchers impacted by wildfires and other natural disasters as they recover their property and livelihoods."  

The governor's office said farmers and ranchers who are still replacing fencing on their pastures will be able to take advantage of the exemption. A refund will be available for farmers and ranchers who have already replaced their fencing.

"When the wildfires devastated farms, ranches, and houses in my home county and surrounding area late last year, the State of Kansas rallied to their support," state Rep. Troy Waymaster, R-District 109, said in a statement. "By passing this bill to provide tax relief to those who were most impacted, we are showing that the whole state, regardless of party or any other factor, is committed to helping our farmers and ranchers get back on their feet." 

Agriculture groups pushed for the tax relief bill.

"Kansas Farm Bureau (KFB) successfully testified in support of a law change that exempts from adding sales taxes to fencing supplies and services to repair fencing damaged or destroyed by natural disasters including wildfires," KFB said a press release earlier this month. "The change means the state will treat fencing supplies and services as the business inputs they are."

State Sen. Elaine Bowers, R-District 36, applauded her colleagues and the governor for "stepping up" to pass the bill. 

"Livelihoods were put at risk this past winter, especially the farmers and ranchers who we need now more than ever to feed the world," Bowers said.

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