Businesses Might Be Compensated for Closing Orders

Businesses that were ordered to shut down or limit capacity because of the pandemic could receive financial relief under two bills in the state Legislature that would address pending litigation, but have riled up county leaders who could be forced to pay out millions.

Both bills provide businesses the chance to apply for property tax reimbursements, although the details vary.

Eric Stafford, a lobbyist for the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, said that the state’s emergency management law allows people to pursue claims for compensation in court if their property is “commandeered or otherwise used” by state or local officials.

A lawsuit is pending.

Sedgwick County officials, though, are raising alarms about the legislation, The Wichita Eagle reported.

The bill would also pressure counties and cities to drop mask mandates at the end of April, or face having to pay businesses compensation as long as the requirements stay in effect.