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Kansas lawmakers discuss bill that could raise property taxes for farmers by 500 percent

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Legislation proposed in Kansas could increase property taxes for farmers by an estimated 500 percent.

Local lawmakers addressed concerns of Crawford County residents regarding that legislation this morning at a legislative breakfast at the Kansas Farm Bureau in Girard, KS.

Senator Jake LaTurner and state representatives Chuck Smith and Adam Lusker also discussed topics such as Medicaid expansion and protecting education from further cuts when balancing the state budget.

Many have concerns about Senate Bill 178, which would calculate the assessed valuation of agricultural property based on its market value, rather than its use value, which some fear will create a tremendous negative impact on local farmers.

"It will hurt every farmer, from the small rent farm and rancher, to corporate farming," Lusker said.

"You're talking about on average $6 per acre going up to $30 per acre in property taxes," LaTurner said. "That's enormous. Farmers just can't sustain that."

The bill was referred to a Senate committee last week.

Lawmakers say, if passed, this bill would also have a significant impact to the state's economy, 33 percent of which is based on agriculture.
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