News Columns & Blogs

Pipeline a tax boon to Nebraska but not Kansas

It had to be painful for residents of six Kansas counties to read last week about how the Keystone oil pipeline is boosting property tax revenue in Nebraska. Butler, Clay, Cowley, Dickinson, Marion and Washington counties – which the pipeline crosses – are receiving no property taxes thanks to a boneheaded move by Kansas lawmakers in 2006 to grant a 10-year property tax exemption. The counties expect to lose between $75 million and $100 million in tax revenue over the exemption period. Kansas is the only state along the pipeline route with such an exemption. A county clerk in Nebraska said last week that his county might lower its tax levy because of the extra revenue. Meanwhile, county officials in Kansas are struggling to pay their bills.