Barker also opposes exemption

State Rep. John Barker (R-Abilene), who represents northern Marion County, also opposes the legislation.

“I think it’s a mess,” he said Monday in between hearings in Topeka. “I’m not for it at this point in the process, but I understand there may be an attempt to make a lot of amendments. Nothing’s over until it’s over.”

Barker said he had reviewed the bill as proposed and found it “very hard to grasp the intent or repercussions.”

At issue are complicated descriptions of when manufacturing equipment is regarded as a permanent fixture within a building and when it may be regarded as something that could be moved or sold for another use.

The exact financial impact of the legislation is under intense dispute. The state budget director significantly revised an original estimate of its impact.

“That should alert anybody to start paying attention,” Barker said.

Opponents of the bill — primarily groups of city and county officials — contend it will greatly reduce property taxes. Proponents — primarily agribusiness manufacturing associations — contend the impact is greatly overstated and the bill merely attempts to make consistent across various taxing jurisdictions long-standing practices adopted by some local entities.

HB 2285 was requested by Coffeeville Resources, a nitrogen plant in Montgomery County. A similar request has been filed by Ash Grove Cement Plant in Neosho County.

 

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