Update: Fence rebuilding bill clears Legislature

Mar 20, 2017

Burned fencing lines U.S. 160 near Ashland on Thursday, March 9, 2017 following the March 6 wildfires in Clark County.Credit Lindsey Bauman / The Hutchinson NewsEdit | Remove

TOPEKA – A bill offering a state sales tax exemption on supplies and services to rebuild fences damaged by 2016 and 2017 wildfires cleared the Legislature on Friday morning.

It heads to the governor’s desk. It generally takes a few days for passed legislation to reach the governor. The new law, once signed, would not take effect until published in the weekly public register. If it’s signed Tuesday, it would appear in the register Thursday. If it’s signed after Tuesday, it would be in the March 30 register.

“Gov. Brownback appreciates the swift action of both chambers to help those impacted by the wildfires as Kansans begin to rebuild their communities,” said his communications director Melika Willoughby Friday.

House Bill 2387 was introduced March 10 and moved on a fast track. First, it passed without dissent in the House. Next, it received a 40-0 vote in the Senate on Thursday, where the language was clarified. The House voted without dissent Friday to concur with the Senate’s changes.

The final version allows for exemption of the state’s 6.5 percent sales tax for materials and services to reconstruct, repair or replace any fence that was damaged or destroyed by wildfires during calendar years 2016 and 2017, for the purpose of enclosing land devoted to agricultural use.

Sales tax on fence rebuilding or repairs paid on and after Jan. 1, 2017, shall be eligible for a refund. Also, a sales tax exemption certificate can be obtained from the state to be used when making the purchases. Both options – the refund or the exemption certificate – can be used through 2017 and 2018.

The Kansas Department of Revenue is developing the application for the exemption certificate, and Revenue Department spokeswoman Jeannine Koranda said Friday it will be available next week. In the meantime, she said, people can contact (785) 296-3070.

The sales tax exemption will expire at the end of 2018.