Written by Hillsboro Free Press Tuesday, 16 November 2010 17:25
THE WEEK THAT WAS / 5 years ago
Holub needs support for exemption battle
My hat is off to Dan Holub, who seems to be fighting singlehandedly to correct the wrong that has been done to Marion County. Mr. Holub is trying to reverse the Kansas tax exemption given to TransCanada Keystone Pipeline.
The Free Press quotes him as stating that the 10-year exemption represents $3.5 million annually to six counties. That is an attention-getting amount of money. We need to rally and support his efforts.
What about other counties? Will the commissioners from the other five counties help Holub?
This could be the answer to our jail and road problems. Why would Commissioner Dallke have “no comment” when asked for his position on this matter? The citizens of Marion County deserve a response over such an important issue.
Why did legislators exempt the pipeline?
I recently reread the March 31, 2010, commentary by former Rep. Don Dahl where he ardently defended the 2006, SB303 bill, which provided a 10-year property tax exemption for the Keystone TransCanada pipeline.
Since that time in March, there have been several opportunities for Mr. Dahl to defend his vote and respond to criticisms of the exemption.
There was the “open letter” from the Marion County Commission that has been distributed widely and published in the press that gave an excellent chronology of the events that went unchallenged by Mr. Dahl.
The commentary in March states that Mr. Dahl and his cronies in the legislature didn’t know whether or not the pipeline would come through Kansas in 2006. But in a 2004 annual report to the stockholders, TransCanada has a map showing the pipeline route as was followed this summer.
Mr. Dahl stated in a letter of March 3, 2010, that the intent of the exemption was to secure a supply of crude oil for Kansas refineries, particularly refineries in McPherson and Coffeyville.
It is now known that both of the refineries in McPherson and Coffeyville have filed lawsuits in Calgary, Alta., Canada courts alleging that “Keystone’s representatives and the TSA terms were false, untrue, inaccurate and misleading.”
The lawsuit states that the damages and costs arising from these misrepresentations could cause major financial injury to these Kansas refineries.
This does not sound like the scenario that former Rep. Don Dahl was bragging about.
The issue seems to boil down to three possible reasons that the members of the legislative leadership would have crafted and introduced a property tax exemption worth millions of dollars to a large, foreign, oil pipeline company:
They were gullible and duped by some slick-talking Canadians.
They were corrupted by campaign contributions and outright bribes.
They were ignorant and ill-informed.
My guess is that it is a combination of all three.
Harry E. Bennett