A constitutional amendment on the Kansas ballot attempts to fix a glitch that requires boat owners to pay much more in personal property taxes than those in Missouri and other neighboring states.
A yes vote is in order. A more reasonable tax rate would boost Kansas boat building and tourism industries and bring in about $1 million more in revenues annually.
The constitutional amendment is a first step. It would permit the Legislature to carve out a taxing exemption for watercraft for county taxation purposes just as it does for mobile homes, campers and residential property.
Watercraft, which includes everything from speedboats to canoes, are currently classified as other property, which means they are valued at market value and taxed at 30 percent.
That puts Kansas at a competitive disadvantage with other states, including Missouri, where boat taxes are much lower. Many boaters register and dock their boats elsewhere. Boat registrations in Kansas have decreased about 20 percent over the past decade.
The constitutional amendment the only one on the Nov. 6 ballot would enable the Legislature to set a fairer and more competitive rate. It would encourage people to purchase and register boats in Kansas and use them to enjoy the states lakes and parks.