Leavenworth County commissioners are expressing opposition to a proposal for doing away with a mortgage fee that provides about $1 million each year to the county government.
County Administrator Pat Hurley discussed the matter with commissioners when they met Thursday morning.
He said there may be a lobbying effort to repeal the tax.
According to County Register of Deeds Stacy Driscoll, the tax is charged when mortgages are filed with her office. The fee is calculated as a percentage of the loan amount and paid by the borrower.
Driscoll, who did not attend Thursday's County Commission meeting, said most of the money from the fee is put into the county's general fund. She said a small portion goes to the state to be used for historic preservation.
Hurley said the Kansas Association of Realtors is involved in the effort to repeal the tax. He plans to attend a regional meeting for the organization Monday to express opposition to the idea. Other officials from a seven-county region have been invited.
Hurley said the Realtors organization apparently believes the elimination of the tax will make it easier to sell homes.
"It appears their mind is already made up," Commissioner Dennis Bixby said.
He asked if it is premature to let the state legislative delegation from Leavenworth County know about the county's opposition to the idea.
Hurley said it is not premature to contact them.
He said the amount the county receives from the tax is around $1 million each year.
"That's a significant loss to us," he said.
Without that money, the county would have to cut $1 million from its budget or raise property taxes by about two mills to make up the difference, Hurley said.
"I just don't see an upside for why it would be good for Leavenworth County," Bixby said.
Driscoll said an association for bankers in Kansas also is supporting the idea.