Official says no to pipeline exemption

The Kansas director of property valuation, Mark S. Beck, has recommended to the Kansas Court of Tax Appeals that a 10-year tax exemption filed Nov. 1 by TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, LP, be denied.

The exemption, which was approved by the Kansas Legisla?ture, is under protest by six counties the pipeline crosses after construction this year?Marion, Butler, Clay, Cowley, Dickinson and Washington.

In addition, the Marion County Board of Commissioners said it may seek support from the other counties, if necessary, to file for a court injunction to stop the exemption. Commis?sioners said, at current levy rates, the pipeline could add more than $3 million annual tax receipts for Marion County.

In making his recommendation, Beck cited a Kansas statute that defines a qualifying pipeline for exemption as a pipeline that is located in this state and is used primarily for transportation of crude oil or natural gas.

He said it must have a length of more than 190 miles in this state to which Kansas refineries or natural gas liquid processing facilities have access.

Beck said it is true that Kansas refineries have access to crude oil being transported into Cushing, Okla., by Keystone, but there is no evidence that they have access via a pipeline located in this state.

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