30 Nov Earn a cash prize with our all-new Chairman’s Challenge membership drive
Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association (KARA) announced an exciting opportunity for its membership to earn some cash prizes while helping KARA grow its membership during the association’s all-member meeting over Zoom on Monday morning. A review of the morning’s meeting including details on the Chairmen’s Challenge, the virtual scholarship auction and much more are below.
For any questions or concerns regarding the material below, please reach out to your association office by phone (785.234.0463) or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE CHAIRMAN’S CHALLENGE
In an effort to grow KARA’s membership and award some hard-earned cash prizes to the top-three-placing individuals who recruit the most new members, KARA has announced its Chairman’s Challenge membership drive.
“It’s important for our industry, especially with the potential upcoming political climate, to realize our strength is going to come from our numbers and banding together to create a strong, unified voice through our association,” Chairman Lance Nelson of Alliance Ag & Grain said.
The award for first place is $1,000, while the award for second and third place is $500 and $250 respectively.
VIRTUAL SCHOLARSHIP AUCTION
KARA is raising money for its scholarship fund with a two-week online auction ending at noon on Friday, December 4.
“The scholarship auction is the association’s primary fundraiser for assisting students in our state pursue their educations,” KARA President and CEO Ron Seeber said. “The items donated and the proceeds from the auction directly benefit our industry by helping fund the education of the future of our workforce.”
2021 KARA EVENTS AND TRAINING PROGRAMS
KARA is offering to its members are ‘house-call’ training sessions where for a guaranteed number of participants, the association will travel anywhere in the state to provide any of the following training programs at an agreed upon rate. Contact Samantha Tenpenny (email@example.com | 785.234.0463) for more information.
KARA will be offering six Commercial Drivers License (CDL) Exam Preparation Courses throughout the year. These one-day courses will walk attendees through the Kansas CDL Manual with the goal of obtaining their Commercial Learners Permit (CLP). These courses will be capped at 25 registrants on a first-come, first-serve basis. Information on the CDL preparation courses is below:
- 5, 2021 // Garden City // Garden City Coop
- 7, 2021 // Parsons // Southeast KSU Research-Extension Center
- 4, 2021 // Topeka // Propane Marketers Association
- April 15, 2021 // Hays // KSU Ag Research Center
- 3, 2021 // Hutchinson // Kansas State Fairgrounds
- 28, 2021 // Andover // Butler Community College
In January, KARA will cover the state offering six NH3 Safety Workshops. These programs include a combination of demonstrations and presentations that will cover the characteristics of anhydrous ammonia, facility safety, emergency response and product handling. Information on the NH3 Safety Workshops is below:
- 12, 2021 // Garden City // Garden City Coop
- 13, 2021 // Colby // City Limits Center
- 14, 2021 // Salina // Salina Chamber Visitors Center Annex
- 26, 2021 // Wichita // Sedgwick County Extension
- 27, 2021 // Parsons // Southeast KSU Research-Extension Center
- Jan. 28, 2021 // Topeka // Propane Marketers Association
Just after the 4th of July, KARA will be in Manhattan working with K-State Agronomy to put on the annual KSU Field Days workshops where participants can get into the weeds on herbicide efficacy and injury, crop insect pests, crop diseases, weed ID, environmental and water quality and so much more. Information on KSU Field Days is below:
- July 6 – 7, 2021 // Manhattan // KSU Agronomy Farm
- July 8 – 9, 2021 // Manhattan // KSU Agronomy Farm
Rounding out the summer months, KARA will be in Hutchinson hosting the premier applicator institute in the region, the 10th annual Kansas Applicator Institute. The applicator institute features exhibitors and a popular ride-and-drive where attendees can test drive the latest and greatest in precision agriculture equipment. Information on Kansas Applicator Institute is below:
- August 4 – 5, 2021 // Hutchinson // Kansas State Fairgrounds
The association will offer full 1A Recertification in one day in conjunction with the Kansas Agri Business Expo in November. The day-long course features presentations ranging from pasture and rangeland improvement to spineless pests affecting agricultural crops and earns attendees a year’s worth of continuing education credit. Information on 1A Recertification is below:
- Nov. 18, 2021 // Hyatt Hotel // Wichita
KARA will close out its 2021 training slate with its Crop Production Update in early December. This training provides the latest research and technological advances in the crop production industry. The presentations include the latest technology on weed and insect control, fertilizer and chemical recommendations, soil fertility concerns and much more. Information on Crop Production Update is below:
- Dec. 1 – 2, 2021 // Lindsborg // J.O. Sundstrom Conference Center
KANSAS LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
Last summer, due to the economic effects of COVID-19, state general fund receipts were projected to be reduced by over $750 million during the current fiscal year. Recall that the state is constitutionally prohibited from running a budget deficit. So – had the projections been accurate – this would have required the legislature and the Governor to overcome the deficit through massive budget reductions or increased taxes. However, following much better than estimated state tax receipts this fall, those projections have now been revised to be much less dire. The most recent revenue forecast released in November shows the state running a $360 million surplus in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021, and only a $150 million deficit for the following fiscal year. This is significantly better than the $700 million estimated deficit projected for the current fiscal year and the $1.4 billion estimate for the following year. Clearly, however, there is much uncertainty in this revenue modeling.
Property Tax Focus
Increased property taxes across the state have resulted in dozens of bills being filed on the issue in recent years. While COVID-19 shut down most legislative action last year, look for similar legislation to be introduced this year to strengthen the rights of Kansas property tax payers which your association will support. One property tax bill that is likely to be re-introduced would prohibit county treasurers from distributing the portion of property taxes that are in dispute until the final appeal of the valuation. In recent years, your association supported this legislation and will continue to do so.
Two years ago, Governor Kelly vetoed a bill that would have exempted certain types of foreign corporate income (repatriated income and GILTI) that is now taxable at the state level following passage of the federal tax cuts and jobs of 2017. Look for new legislation to be filed on this issue this session. However, there is a fiscal note (cost) to such a bill, and Governor Kelly has openly stated that she is not in favor of this legislation.
Corporate Income Tax Apportionment
A bill is likely to be introduced to allow corporate taxpayers the option to elect how to apportion their corporate income tax liability between Kansas and other states in which it operates. Kansas currently uses a three-factor system for apportioning income between states for corporate income tax purposes. The legislation would allow the taxpayer to elect to use a single-factor apportionment formula based on sales to determine corporate income tax liability.
Net Operating Losses Carried Forward
In recent years, the legislature has considered a bill to allow net operating losses to be carried forward for 20 years. Currently, net operating losses can be carried forward for 10 years. This is likely to be introduced again, and your Association would support such an initiative.
Pesticide Waste Disposal Program
Last year, your association helped draft and introduce a bill to allow up to $50,000 from the agricultural chemical remediation reimbursement fund to be used annually for a new Pesticide Waste Disposal Program which would be managed by the Kansas Dept. of Agriculture. The bill made steady progress last year before being stalled out due to the shortened session.
Hazardous Chemical Spill Reporting
In recent years, the Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment (KDHE) requested legislation to allow the agency the authority to define reportable quantities and timelines for reporting spills of hazardous chemicals, and to harmonize those quantities and timelines with federal standards. The bill would have also grant KDHE authority to assess civil penalties for failing to timely report hazardous chemical spills. Your association worked with KDHE to amend the bill, which will likely be introduced again this year.
Underground Storage Tank Funds
Last year, the legislature held hearings on three bills concerning the state’s underground petroleum storage tank (UST) redevelopments funds which are managed by KDHE. One bill would have extended the existence of the UST redevelopment fund and compensation advisory board to 2032. Another bill would have extended the sunset of the aboveground fund and underground fund, and increased the maximum fund reimbursement. A third bill would have extended the expiration of certain reimbursement provisions of the Kansas storage tank act to 2030, and increased the maximum reimbursement for underground storage tank replacement. These bills made progress before being halted during the short session. Your association supports these bills.
Air Quality Fees by KDHE
Last year, your association joined with industry stakeholders in testifying on a funding need for the KDHE Bureau of Air Quality. Industry asked the committee to review the Bureau’s budgetary needs after the Bureau informed industry stakeholders that it intended to increase air quality emission fees on Class I and Class II emitters by approximately $1.5 million in 2020 and every year thereafter. Your association also worked with legislators to include language in the budget bill to prohibit KDHE from increasing these fees through June of 2021.
State Water Plan Fund
Each year, the agricultural industry pays approximately $6 million into the state water plan fund through pesticide registration fees and fertilizer tonnage inspection fees. Local water districts also submit about $6 million annually into the fund through fees on water users. State law requires $6 million in matching funds from the state general fund, but the full statutory amount has not been funded since 2009. Last year, however, the legislature fully funded the state water plan. Bills are routinely introduced to increase the size of the SWPF by increasing fees on our industry. Your association will continue to oppose any legislation seeking to increase fees on our industry for the state water plan fund, and will seek inclusion of the full statutory $6 million transfer into the state water plan fund from the state general fund.
Vocational Training Liability
Last year, the Legislature considered a bill which would limit a business’ exposure to liability from injury to a student participating in a school-sponsored vocational training program at a business worksite. The intent is to cover students during these vocational training activities in the same manner as they would be covered during school-sponsored sports activities. Your association supported this legislation and will do so again.
Public Litigation Coordination Act
Last year, your association supported legislation that was introduced at the request of Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt. The bill would have required local units of government to coordinate with the Attorney General in order to enter into a contract for legal services on a contingency fee basis. The bill was intended to allow the state to exercise greater control over large suits such where the state or local units of government are plaintiffs, rather than allowing each subordinate unit of government to enter into an independent lawsuit. This legislation will likely be reintroduced, and your association will support the legislation as good public policy.
Budget Concerns in Out Years
State budget projections show the state will be underfunded due to COVID-related negative economic pressures, but also due to mandatory increased payments into the state retirement system (KPERS), increased funding for social services and K-12 education, and the move away from use of state highway funds to cover budgetary needs. To cover these budgetary shortfalls, the legislature may look to add new funding mechanisms on the ag sector through such things as sales taxes on ag services, utilities, and red-dyed diesel fuel; eliminating sales tax exemptions on farm machinery and equipment; creating new excise taxes; removing barriers to property tax increases, and, increasing income taxes.
Next Round of Redistricting
Following the 2020 census, the legislature will once again be reconfiguring House and Senate districts to right-align them with current population centers. As the Kansas population continues to move from rural areas of the state to more urban areas, rural Kansas and the agricultural industry will continue to lose legislative seats and representation. As a result, we expect the agricultural industry to increasingly be targeted for new fees, taxes, and increased regulation.
Kansas Agri-Business Council (KABC)
Your government affairs team will continue to remain vigilant in representing our industry and serving as the voice of agribusiness in opposing increased costs and regulation. Thank you for your contributions to the KABC political action committee campaign fund. Your contributions are vital to your association maintaining a strong voice in the legislative process.