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Who did it? Multi-million dollar tax-exemption

In a follow-up to last week’s story about the Keystone Pipeline:  a multi-billion dollar oil pipeline under construction in Kansas. Six counties are arguing that they will lose millions of dollars in property taxes because Kansas lawmakers gave the project a 10-year tax exemption.  Six affected counties:  Washington, Cowley, Marion, Dickinson, Butler, and Clay have hired an attorney to see if there is any way to recover the lost revenue.  Reports from various sources make it unclear who in the Legislature first said the tax exemption was needed to bring the  pipeline through Kansas.  Keystone pipline spokesman Jim Prescott reportedly said that Keystone did not ask for the tax exemption, nor was it a condition to route the project through Kansas. Prescott went on to say that Keystone was considering route options when the legislature proposed the exemption.  Prescott admitted the exemption was a factor in the route decision but not the deciding factor.  KNDY news requested information from Senator Mark Taddiken and State Representative Sharon Schwartz concerning their votes on the matter.  Senator Taddiken sent an email which stated that he supported the pipeline exemption when it was before the Senate a few years back.  According to the Senator It did not come to the Senate through the normal committee process but rather on the floor of the Senate as a motion to concur to House changes to a Senate bill.  Senator Taddiken’s email explained the exemption was part of a comprehensive energy package and the information Senators had at that time was that the pipeline would not be built without the ten year exemption.  Senator Taddiken does report ath the last data he has seen is that Clay county taxing entities will receive over 100 million dollars in property tax revenues in todays dollars during the lifetime of the pipeline after the ten year exemption period expires.  We did not receive a response to our inquiries from Representative Schwartz.  Senator Taddiken’s email may be viewed at KNDYradio.com

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