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Kansas restaurant owners support new rebate bill

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 5:54 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Now that some restaurants are able to stay open later and see more business, they want a bill to ease some of the financial woes their industry has faced.

Ryan Kriegshauser of Kriegshauser Ney Law Group said, “During the first few months of the pandemic, we kept hearing, ‘we’re all in this together.’ everyone had to bear an equal burden and sacrifice to keep our neighbors safe, but that’s actually not what happened.”

Kansas restaurant owners say COVID-19 has cut into their customer numbers, and their revenue, but they are still paying normal property taxes to the government. They are asking for relief despite having to close and limit capacity over the last year.

Blind Tiger owner Jay Ives said they would need like the help and have had to make major adjustments for the past year.

“The small businesses are almost being put out of business, but the state keeps getting their money anyway,” he said. “The shutdown order was 46 days and our business was down about 80% and then ever since then for another 10 months or so, we’ve been at 60% business down. Now it’s around 40%.”

If the bill passes, the measure would give businesses a small percentage of the property taxes they paid back in the form of rebates.

They’re only slightly relieved by the idea. Scott Schneider, Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association, said, “We testified a few weeks ago that the government has overused its police power and not taken into account the stress and difficulties that the small businesses are under.” Like other owners, Ives feels the government should give them back a little because the reason business is down is because of the restrictions placed on us by the government.

“It seems only fair that there would be a rebate of some of the taxes back to the small business,” he said.

Governor Laura Kelly announced Tuesday that the hospitality relief loans given out over the last year have been turned into grants -- meaning they do not need to be paid back.

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A group of Kansas restaurant owners were at the statehouse Tuesday support the introduction of a rebate bill that would ease some of the financial woes their industry has faced during the pandemic.

They say that the actions taken by the government during the pandemic has directly caused a decline in business and revenue for them. But, they have still had to pay property taxes to the government, despite having to close and limit capacity over the last year.

Business owners, like Blind Tiger owner Jay Ives, says it’s only fair that the government gives back a little.

“The reason business is down is because of the restrictions placed on us by the government,” Ives said. “So, it seems only fair that there would be a rebate of some of the taxes back to the small business. The small businesses are almost being put out of business, but the state keeps getting their money anyway.”

The bill would give businesses a small percentage of the property taxes they paid back in the form of a rebate.

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