Dan Murray, Kansas state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, released the following statement today in response to the Kansas Supreme Court’s decision striking down the City of Mission’s so-called “driveway tax,” a funding mechanism based on the number of vehicles coming and going from a property. NFIB Small Business Legal Center had filed an amicus brief arguing against the legality of the tax:
“This is a big victory for small businesses, homeowners, and everyone else with a driveway or parking lot in the City of Mission. The Supreme Court agreed with us that the city’s so-called ‘transportation utility fee’ was really an illegal excise tax. State law makes it very clear that cities and counties have a very limited authority to levy excise taxes.
“We understand that local governments are starved for revenue but this wasn’t a legal or equitable solution. There’s no reliable way for local officials to accurately estimate traffic generation for individual businesses, especially for businesses that share buildings and facilities. What’s more, it’s impossible to extrapolate business revenue from traffic. There are plenty of businesses in Kansas that attract window shoppers that generate a lot more traffic than sales.
“If the city’s driveway tax had been allowed to stand, it would have opened the floodgates for similar taxes all over the state. It would have been a nightmare for small businesses with multiple locations that would have had to comply with a hodgepodge of local taxes.”
NFIB is Kansas’ leading small-business association. To learn more, visit www.NFIB.com/KS and follow @NFIB_KS on Twitter.