Farmers and ranchers with damaged fencing would receive a tax exemption to help with repairs after wildfires swept through parts of Kansas last week, under a bill passed by the House on Tuesday.
Lawmakers advanced House Bill 2387 in a 122-0 vote. The legislation would exempt from sales taxes goods and services purchased to help repair or rebuild fencing.
The Legislature has set the bill on a fast track. The House bypassed its typical procedure, giving the legislation both early and final approval on Tuesday. It now heads to the Senate.
The bill comes in response to wildfires that have burned more than 650,000 acres in central Kansas. The Kansas Adjutant General’s Department said Monday that the fires had destroyed miles of fencing.
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“We as a body and a state legislature, this is one thing we can do,” Rep. Ken Rahjes, R-Agra, said.
Lawmakers passed a similar tax exemption last year to help farmers and ranchers after fires in Comanche and Barber counties. The bill passed on Tuesday essentially extends the exemption put in place after the 2016 fires.
The Kansas Department of Revenue estimates the sales tax exemption would cost the state about $4.6 million.