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2012 Legislative Testimony
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Government Policies & Procedures

SB 274: Alcohol Temporary Permits
This bill fixes the problem of some events being longer than the maximum permit time frame. LKM supported this technical fix.

 

SB 299: Public Venue License
LKM supported this bill which creates an alcoholic liquor license for public venues, rather than requiring the current temporary or caterer’s licenses. It makes more sense for fixed venues in which the same company or person is serving the alcoholic liquor.

 

SB 329: Historic Environs
This bill would allow cities to adopt ordinances opting out of the State Historic Preservation Officer review process, and substitute it with a local historic preservation policy and process. LKM supported the local control aspect of this bill.

 

SB 341 | HB 2412: The Dissolution of Treece
This bill would dissolve the City of Treece. The League supported this bill because all but two residents of the City of Treece relocated after receiving public moneys from the EPA; consequently the city can no longer function as a local government.

 

HB 2166: Summary Ordinance Publication
LKM has reached agreement on a proposal that would allow cities, at their option, to publish a summary of an ordinance in the newspaper rather than the full text. This proposal will be considered as a balloon to an existing bill when it is worked in Committee.

 

HB 2532: Alcohol in Grocery Stores
This bill would allow the sale of alcohol in grocery stores and convenience stores. LKM submitted written neutral testimony urging that the provision in the bill of a local CMB sales tax fund remain in its current form if the bill is adopted.

 

HB 2639: Solid Waste Preemption
This legislation would prohibit cities and other municipalities from providing commercial solid waste services if a private hauler can provide the services at the same or lower cost. LKM, along with the Kansas Association of Counties, and other entities oppose this legislation as an infringement on home rule and local control.

 

HB 2725: Repealing the Kansas Advisory Council on Intergovernmental Relations
This bill would repeal the statutes concerning the Kansas Advisory Council on Intergovernmental Relations, effectively dismantling the council. The League opposes this bill.

 

HCR 5004: Home Rule Amendment
This concurrent resolution would open up the Constitutional Home Rule Amendment to prohibit a city from changing its form of government for four years after an election on the form of government. LKM stringently opposed this measure and the chair of the committee has indicated it will not be worked in committee.


Public Safety

SB 283: Sheriff Service of Process
LKM opposed this bill because it would remove the exemption for local government from having to pay service of process fees. That exemption will likely be added back in if the bill passes out of committee. LKM will then be neutral.

 

HB 2353: Concealed Carry
This bill would allowed concealed weapons to be carried into all public buildings unless you are able to secure all doors with metal detectors. LKM opposed this legislation on the basis of local control arguing that cities should make this decision locally.

 

HB 2646: Dangerous and Abandoned Structures (House | Senate)
HB 2646 would amend current law regarding dangerous and abandoned structures by including commercial real estate in the definition of abandoned property. LKM supports this change.

 

Finance & Taxation

SB 317: Machinery & Equipment “Trade Fixtures”
This legislation would expand the definition of machinery and equipment to include “trade fixtures.” The definition of a trade fixture is unclear at this point. LKM opposes this legislation as a further erosion of the property tax base.

 

SB 409: Local Ad Valorem Tax Reduction Fund
This legislation would provide $45 million in LAVTR funds beginning in FY 2013. LKM supported this bill in its original form.

 

SB 421: Motor Vehicle Property Tax
This proposal reduces the motor vehicle property tax from 20% in FY 2012, to 18% in FY 2013, to 16% in 2014, to 14% in FY 2015, to 12% in FY 2016 and all years thereafter. Losses to local governments are estimated to be $25 million in the first year, $40 million in the next year, and $60 million in the third year. While the bill does provide some mitigation by slowing the depreciation schedule, such mitigation does not even begin for five years. LKM opposed this legislation.

 

HB 2176: Budget Timing Bill
This bill would move the date for filing budgets from August 25th to September 25th. LKM testified in favor of this legislation.

 

HB 2212: Property Tax Lid
Bill appears on its face to be a property tax lid bill. However the proponents of the legislation argue it merely requires a vote of a local unit’s governing body, and publication in the official newspaper, for the levy in the upcoming year to exceed the levy in the current year. This is confusing as existing law already requires that cities publish an ordinance prior to a property tax increase becoming effective for the next budget year. The danger is that New Section 1 of HB 2212 is separated from the existing Section 2, thus creating a permanent property tax lid on local units of government.

 

HB 2287: Sales Tax Holiday
This bill would establish a statewide sales tax holiday which would temporarily suspend the collection of all state and local sales tax levied upon retailed sales of the goods specified in the bill. These goods are described by the supporters of the bill as being “back-to-school supplies”. The League opposed the bill it is an intrusion and further erosion of the existing sales tax base available to cities, counties and the state.

 

HB 2561: Extension of the STAR Bond Act
The STAR bond act is currently scheduled to expire on July 1, 2012. HB 2561 would extend the act for an additional five years. The League has long supported the STAR bond act and supports HB 2561.

 

HB 2609: Local Ad Valorem Tax Reduction Fund
This bill would authorize $13.5 million in FY 2014 and $22.5 million thereafter to the Local Ad Valorem Tax Reduction Fund (LAVTRF). LKM testified in support of this legislation.

 

HB 2763: State Income and Sales Tax Law
This bill would repeal current state income and sales tax laws and adopt, in lieu thereof, a 5.7% consumption tax upon non-exempt goods and services, as defined in the bill. The League is testifying in opposition to HB 2763 because, as written, the bill also repeals local governments’ ability to collect local option sales and use taxes. This would impact cities with the loss of more than $360,000,000 in sales and use tax revenues.

 

SCR 1612: Property Valuation
This bill proposes an amendment to the Kansas constitution to permit the legislature to adopt legislation to cap or limit the increases in valuation of single family residential property owned and occupied by persons 65 or older. The League testified in opposition to this bill.

 

Personnel & Public Employees

HB 2545: KPERS Study Commission
The House KPERS testimony is identical to the Senate version. These bills reflect the decisions of the KPERS study commission. LKM testified in opposition on the basis that the local government group is not that underfunded and should be left out of any changes to the current system. This is the position taken by the LKM Governing Body.

 

SB 295: Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Unemployment Status
This bill would prohibit employers from inquiring about a job applicant’s gap in employment history. The League opposed this bill because it effectively prohibits employers from inquiring into a job applicant’s employment history and could potentially make background checks unlawful.

 

SB 338: KPERS Select
These are LKM’s comments on the KPERS Study Commission bill proposing that the local government plan be separated from the state and school plan, and that no changes be made to the local plan.

 

SB 250: Firefighter Spouse Health Insurance
This bill will allow the family of a firefighter killed in the line of duty to remain on a city or county health insurance plan, if the firefighter was covered under such plan. LKM did not testify on the bill in the Senate Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee, but was actively involved in working on a compromise that allows the League to remain neutral on the bill.

 

Infrastructure

HB 2556: Establishing a Safety Corridor
HB 2556 permits the Secretary of Transportation, based upon criteria contained in the bill, to establish and designate certain segments of highways as being “safety corridors”. The intent of the program is to elevate safety awareness by vehicle operators within the designated zones to reduce traffic violations and accidents. Fines for moving violation in a safety corridor would be doubled. The League supports HB 2556.

 

HB 2661: Utility Surplus Bill
This bill would prohibit cities from transferring utility surplus to the general fund to be used for other purposes. LKM, along with KMU and others, opposes this legislation as it interferes with rate making by locally elected officials and could force cities to raise property taxes.

 

HB 2735: Rails to Trails
This bill regards the valuation and taxation of federally railbanked rights-of-way (Rails to Trails). The league testified in opposition because the way the bill is written would require any city that operates a trail to be responsible for the property taxes. The bill does not provide a means for a city to obtain a tax exemption on the trail.

 

HB 2747: Transportation Funding
League is opposing one specific aspect of HB 2747, the House Tax Plan, which deletes the 4/10 of a cent funding for the T-WORKS Comprehensive Transportation Program beginning July 1, 2013. Removal of this revenue source would effectively eliminate many of the promised T-WORKS projects.

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