TOPEKA — Boat taxes would gradually go away in three years starting next year under a plan backed by Gov. Sam Brownback's administration.
About 53 percent of Kansans approved a November ballot initiative that lets lawmakers lower property taxes on watercraft, which are currently taxed at 30 percent.
Those favoring a change said Kansans faced steep taxes on boats and often registered them in other states to avoid higher costs.
Boats would be taxed at 20 percent starting in 2014, 10 percent in 2015 and tax exempt from 2016 and beyond, under a plan released by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism on Monday.
Other changes proposed by the department include:
• Stricter boating under the influence laws that let authorities test blood or breath for alcohol for up to three hours after a person operated a vessel. That's the existing time frame for alcohol tests for those driving vehicles.
• Boater education for everyone. Currently, only those under 21 need boater education to operate a watercraft. A new law would say anyone born after 1989 would need education.