Confusion exists in Kansas over delinquent taxes

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Some county officials are asking Kansas lawmakers to clarify whether back taxes on personal property follow the Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 9.38.48 AMproperty, or be assessed to its owner.

The confusion arises when someone buys property, such as a boat or trailer, and then discovers the previous owner had not paid all the taxes. The state says the unpaid taxes follow the property. But some counties say the original owner should be responsible for paying the delinquent taxes.

Kansas officials say state law clearly requires that the tax bill stay with the property. However, many counties do not interpret the law that way.

The discrepancy became more apparent when the Kansas Department of Revenue launched a program in May 2012 that allows county treasurers to more easily communicate with each other.