Kansas City Abolishes 1952 Gas Utility Tax

The Kansas City, MO, city government has voted to give natural gas consumers some relief from high natural gas prices. The city council in a special meeting voted to immediately repeal the residential natural gas section of an emergency utility tax that has been imposed on consumers since 1952. The tax, which was enacted due to reasons that no one in the city council can currently recall, varied from 0.5%, up to 4% over the last 46 years.

In late September 2000, the city council voted unanimously to reduce the utility tax amount to zero over the next three years, but last week, they decided to abolish the residential natural gas utility tax immediately, while the other utility taxes such as telephone and electricity will follow the three year reduction strategy.

"I became concerned after receiving reports that the projected cost of natural gas may double the amount we paid last year," said Councilman Jim Rowland, co-sponsor of the tax cut.

The council decided to remove the tax immediately due to the expectations that the average household will use approximately 90,000 cf of gas this winter. "Eliminating this tax is a step towards assisting all citizens with an increasing expense," said Rowland. "The emergency has passed and this tax has been paid by the citizens long enough. When we can no longer remember the reason for the tax, and our economic times are good, let's give the taxpayers a break."

Alex Steis

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