Rebates for Ordered Closures Passes Senate

The Kansas Senate is pushing along a measure that would provide businesses with tax rebates, paid for by local governments.

Senators passed, 33-6, a measure that would provide rebates of up to $7,500 from cities and counties to businesses for the property taxes they paid while they were shut down or their activities were limited due to the pandemic.

Those taxes are based on property values, not income, so they were owed whether or not a business was open.

The bill goes next to the House.

Republicans tied their proposal to give businesses property tax rebates to renewing a statewide property tax levy that raises $752 million, and is a key source of funding for public schools.

The state constitution prevents the levy from being imposed for more than two years at a time.

GOP lawmakers argued that thriving businesses fund schools.

Local officials fear paying the rebates will force them to divert funds from local services.