Kansas lawmakers search rebates for losses from COVID closures

Cafe Provence in the Shops of Prairie Village posted a sign telling customers they are providing curbside pickup. Many business have scaled back or closed because of the coronavirus.

Cafe Provence within the Retailers of Prairie Village posted an indication telling clients they’re offering curbside pickup. Many enterprise have scaled again or closed due to the coronavirus.

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Kansas companies shut down resulting from COVID-19 restrictions may quickly be eligible for rebates on property taxes or hire paid throughout that point.

On their ceremonial ultimate day of the legislative session the Kansas Home and Senate almost unanimously permitted a invoice allocating $50 million in federal COVID-19 reduction {dollars} to the rebates.

Rep. John Carmichael, a Wichita Democrat, was the only real no vote within the Home.

Companies may search as much as $5,000 per tax 12 months throughout which they confronted shutdowns or restrictions imposed by a authorities entity. Companies who obtained greater than $150,000 in different COVID-19 reduction funding could be ineligible.

The laws handed with bipartisan help after dying on the tail finish of the legislative session final 12 months.

Sen. Tom Holland, a Baldwin Metropolis Democrat, stated the laws was aimed toward small native companies that misplaced out on income they’d have gained from foot visitors within the spring of 2020 however couldn’t entry federal grants.

“For these companies that really went out of enterprise due to COVID they’ll really get some profit out of this,” Holland stated.

Although Republican lawmakers supported the invoice, Sen. Caryn Tyson, a Parker Republican, stated lawmakers must be cautious to not permit Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly to take credit score for the rebate.

“I do know that she’s going to take credit score for it when she shut the companies down,” Tyson stated.

Kelly issued a sweeping stay-at-home order in March 2020 closing non-essential companies for a few month in an effort to cease the unfold of COVID-19. Kelly’s order mirrored comparable actions by native and state governments throughout the nation. Kelly has not but stated whether or not she helps the invoice, however she has proven broad help for tax breaks this 12 months.

Home Democrats unsuccessfully sought to ship the invoice again to hunt a extra aggressive implementation of the meals gross sales tax elimination than the invoice handed within the Legislature final month.

“We must always take a look at giving tax breaks to our common working class households,” Home Minority Chief Tom Sawyer, a Wichita Democrat, stated.

This story was initially revealed Could 23, 2022 1:09 PM.

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Katie Bernard covers the Kansas Legislature and state authorities for the Kansas Metropolis Star. She joined the Star as a breaking information reporter in Could of 2019 earlier than shifting to the politics staff in December 2020. Katie studied journalism and political science on the College of Kansas.