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Pipeline exemption questioned

Managing editor

Marion County Commission is waiting for an explanation from state legislators regarding a tax exemption to Trans-Canada/Keystone Pipeline, the company that is proposing the construction of a pipeline across Marion County.

In a letter dated Friday, the commission joined Dickinson County Commission in requesting an explanation for a tax exemption.

“The construction of this pipeline will have a negative financial impact on the infrastructure of all counties through which it will pass,” the letter read.

Marion is one of six counties affected by the pipeline construction.

The letter continued that large equipment used in the construction of the pipeline would damage county roads, interfere with farmers, and affect those property owners who granted permanent easements.

“One would think the State of Kansas, with all of its resources, would step forward and assist these counties in this process instead of removing a potential revenue resource that would offset … impending and continuing impact.”

The letter continued that the county could not “help but wonder if legislators and Governor even bothered to determine all aspects of the impact this venture would have on the counties involved before rendering a decision.

“We consider this tax exemption unconscionable and request its repeal.”

Kansas State Statutes address property exemption status for pipeline property. However, to qualify for tax exemption status, the pipeline must pump crude oil to refineries within the state.

A TransCanada/Keystone spokesman previously had said none of the crude oil transported through the pipeline would be distributed to Kansas refineries. The pipeline was designed to pump the product to a refinery in Oklahoma.

Letters were sent to Senators Jay Scott Emler, Jim Barnett, Pete Brungardt, and Representatives J. Robert Brookens, Vern Swanson, Tom Moxley, Elaine Bowers, and Joshua Svaty.

Last modified July 22, 2009

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