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June 28, 2022                                      Tuesday 9:00 am


The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with two Commissioners (Jim Harris and Lynne Oharah) and the County Clerk present.


Kevin Schafer, Anne Dare, Donald Coffman, Jason Silvers, and Susan Bancroft were present for some or all of the meeting.


Lynne made a motion to approve the previous meetings minutes. Jim seconded.  All approved.


Eric Bailey stated that 200th & Railroad Tracks (739) got the culvert replaced last week.  250th & Arrowhead back to the west a culvert gave out and they are repairing that today.  Yale Road was milled up Friday and we’re hauling gravel in now to stabilize.  I think we may need to take a long look at the rest of it all the way to Mapleton.  Jim said it may need to be asphalted.  Eric said it’s something we need to think about.  We will asphalt from the county line down to Yellowstone this year.  We got our distributor truck back last Thursday.  We are staged at Hiattville for asphalt.  We are having sickness issues right now but working through it.  Eric stated more trees went down over the weekend but those have been removed.  One was on the west side of Bourbon Allen Lake and one was on Yale & 245th.  Got a call today of another one on Burch west of 250th.  We’ll get that taken care of this morning.  We are doing some ditching on Hackberry & 215th.  We are going to pull dirt out in the road and pack it in.  It’s going to be an inconvenience but will be the best thing in the long run.  We are doing some pothole patching in the Garland area today.  Eric stated that there was a request for rock on Poplar Road and addressing that today as well.  Lynne asked about Hackberry.  Eric said when we get out there to do Hiattville we may be able to blade in a little asphalt to buy us some time.  This road is another sub-base issue.  Resident asked about 215th, east of Evergreen Cemetery, the ditches on east side of road there is water diverting to our property and causing issues.  Eric stated that the mini is in that area and we’ll see what we can do to get done.


Mark McCoy stated we are speaking to you today to explain what transient guest tax is, who and what situations it applies to and how it might impact Bourbon County in a positive way.  We do not represent any company, any entity or individuals other than ourselves.  Transient guest tax is an occupancy tax paid by people who rent lodging for a short term.  That is defined as 28 consecutive days or less.  It is not a tax imposed on businesses or individuals who own the lodging being rented.  It is added to the hotel or house rental bill and paid for by the person who rents the room.  This is a nation-wide common activity.  So, TGT is not a tax paid by Bourbon County residents.  It is truly the one tax that brings money into the county almost exclusively from non-residents.  If you’ve ever noticed when you take a trip and stay at a hotel or rent a house the advertised rate for the night may be $99 but the amount you pay may actually be $115 or more.  The additional amount is because you also pay sales tax, TGT tax, cleaning fees, resort and/or other fees.  It is standard procedure just like when you buy something from a store, there will be a tax added.  Few people ever ask what the tax rate is before booking a room.  You know you will be paying taxes regardless of where you stay and expect the tax rate will be simply a matter of which hotel you choose since you are looking within a limited area.  The City of Fort Scott already has a transient guest tax and has had for decades.  Most years it generates between $115,000 and up to $150,000 of revenue for the city.  The remainder of Bourbon County does not have a transient guest tax and we believe it is time to implement a county-wide transient guest tax.  Last year Kansas changed its’ law pertaining to TGT so we would like to provide a brief explanation of when the tax is applied and when it is not.  Since most people listening today don’t care about these details, I’m going to try to keep it as brief as possible.  Overviews will provide commissioners and anyone else that wants more details.  The big change Kansas has made due to growing the internet booking websites which have made non-traditional lodging accommodations so much easier for anyone with an extra room or to rent a house to make extra money by renting it for a short-term stay.  As AIRBNB, VRBO, FLIPKEY, HOMETOKEY, OR TRIPIN, to name a few, are called the marketplace facilitators.  In Kansas rentals may be made through marketplace facilitators.  They are subject to the TGT.  If you own a one bedroom cabin that you advertise and rent via AIRBNB you are probably wondering how you will be affected if Bourbon County enacts a TGT.  The answer is you don’t have to do anything.  AIRBNB adds the transient guest tax to the taxes and fees that are included and after a person finalizes their booking, AIRBNB collects the tax the same as they do all other charges and at the end of the month AIRBNB will report and remit the TGT to the state.  It is virtually invisible to you as the owner if the rental is made via a qualified facilitator, then TGT applies and the facilitator collects, reports and remits the tax.  Mary Pemberton continued with there are times when an individual with a house that they are renting through AIRBNB.  There are also times they might do it directly with the person who is renting the house in which case the TGT only applies if they have three bedrooms or more that are available for rent.  This could be in the form of three separate one-bedroom cabins or a single three-bedroom house.  If you meet the three or more bedroom requirement then you are responsible for collecting and remitting the transient guest tax but only on your direct to consumer rentals.  As long as you are renting via AIRBNB or one of the other facilitators that facilitator is responsible for collecting and remitting the tax.  The economic impact that the county might see, as we mentioned the City of Fort Scott already has the transient guest tax, it’s at 6% currently.  They’ve had it for decades.  The only addition to the county would be places that are located outside of the city limits of Fort Scott.  I tried to put together some numbers.  I didn’t make an attempt to count all the hunting package type operators that are in the county.  Some may be affected by this, some may not.  It depends on how many rooms and how it’s rented out.  The numbers that I’m going to present should be on the low side of what would be immediately impacted to the county.  Currently, not counting Fort Scott city, Bourbon County has at least two or three businesses that would fall under the hotel classification for transient guest tax and at least a dozen other smaller operators. I calculated at least 40 rental units that are in place being rented today that would be collecting a transient guest tax as soon as it would be implemented by the county.  The rental rate for these units vary widely.  Some approximately $75 per night up to $350 per night.  I figured an average nightly rental rate of $100.  If each unit is rented on an average of one per week, 52 nights in a year, that tax collected to Bourbon County would be $12,480.  If it’s rented 20% of the time, which is 73 nights per year per unit the tax collected would be $17,520.  If rented 2 nights per week, 104 nights per year the tax collected would be $24,960.  That is from units currently in place.  As the county grows and more units are added and nightly rental rate is actually more than $100 then obviously the tax will be higher.  As a percentage of the annual budget for the county, the TGT is a very small figure, but by Kansas statute the proceeds can only be used to promote tourism for the county.  The county currently doesn’t spend a whole lot of money on tourism but I know that you have made pledges to Bourbon County REDI that will have a little bit of money designated for tourism.  Rather than providing that money from property taxes or taxes on Bourbon County residents why not collect a TGT from visitors to the county and use that to fund that portion you do pay for tourism efforts.  In my opinion, every little bit of savings that can be achieved from reduced government spending and every little bit of income that can come from sources other than property taxes in Bourbon County is a good thing and we should do it rather than adopting an attitude that that is too small to make a difference so why even bother.  It all adds up and it does make a difference to those Bourbon County residents that are already burdened with one of the highest property tax rates within the state of Kansas which is one of the highest taxed states in the country.  Mark McCoy stated that an important part would be that the city dissolve theirs and replace it county-wide.  Lynne asked if Mark and Mary had talked with the city about this and they said no.  They said they wanted to visit with the county first.


Lynne requested a 10 minute break.


Justin Meeks-County Counselor:  gave various reasons for the upcoming executive session.  Lynne made a motion for an executive session KSA 75-4319(b)(2) for consultation with an attorney for the public body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship including two commissioners (Jim Harris and Lynne Oharah), Justin Meeks, and Susan Bancroft for 15 minutes returning to this room at 9:57am.  Jim seconded.  Both approved.  Lynne made a motion to return to normal session at 9:57am with no action.  Jim seconded.  Both approved.


Susan Bancroft-CFO:  I’ve asked Justin to be here to make sure I am understanding when we took over the NRP.  We have two different funds, one fund is where the money comes in for the property distribution so that you can pay that back to the tax payers that have the rebate and then 5% can be taken as an administrative fee.  It looked like when we started this program in 2016 each year we were taking those dollars but that stopped in 2019.  So, we have a buildup in our NRP fund of about $90,000.  When I did the calculations last night it looks like we can transfer about $65,000 over into that administration fee fund.  After I talked to Terry this morning I really don’t think we need that fund.  I think those dollars need to go back into the general fund as a reimbursement for the Appraisers’ expense for having to administer the fund and offset some costs there.  Justin explained that the Appraisers’ office spends a lot of time monitoring the build out, inspect the structure once it’s completed, pre-construction, during construction and after construction.  There is a lot of paperwork and time spent by the Appraiser’s office.  Susan asked for permission to close out the NRP 5% fee fund to move those dollars to the general fund which will help going forward.  This will be done at the end of each year.  It’s about $20,000 per year which will help the general fund.  Lynne stated we need to take a look at House Bill 2237 NEHP and the affordable housing for rural areas.  There are two bands.  Anything with population of 8,000 and under and 8,000 and above.  The 8,000 and under gets $35,000 back on construction and the over 8,000 gets $32,000 back on construction.  It’s a good incentive.  Jim asked about housing and if we need an action team for this.  Justin stated that it is a public/private partnership.  Justin said that the input cost does not match assessed value which is an issue.  The other problem is if you put a structure in a blighted neighborhood the value will not match up with like structures.  We also have a huge labor problem.  Justin stated that Rob Harrington is working on this.  He’s done a housing study and preliminary things that have happened.  Susan stated that when you’re creating a new home you have the opportunity to do special taxing districts to help with that infrastructure build out.  This is a special assessment spread out over several years to help pay for improvements.  Justin stated that the land bank will help.  Lynne stated that we worked with Craw-Kan to get the high speed internet and now we’re doing some rural broadband to help.  Being able to work from home is a key factor.  Jim stated that Rob is on it and when he is ready would like to see an action team with some ideas.  Lynne made a motion to allow Susan to move the NRP Fee to general account and close the NRP Fee fund.  Jim seconded.  Both approved.


Shane Walker – CIO: Broadband tower partnership with New Wave; they can’t get to people fast enough.  Next is Hidden Valley area.


Public Comment: Anne Dare stated she concurs with Mark & Mary about TGT.  Anne stated she is glad to see they are working on Yale Rd and what area is torn up.  Lynne stated from the entry of Hidden Valley west to 55th.


Commission Comment: Jim stated that city and county growth is exciting.  Success to our county is growth.  Lynne stated that he has served the public for 19 ½ years.  Two years with the state, 10 years with school board and 7 ½ years here.  Proud of the things we have done and has been accomplished over the last 7 ½ years.  Lynne stated he will be resigning his seat, effective July 12th, to pursue a new opportunity.  Jim thanked Lynne for what he has done for the county.


At 10:23am Jim made a motion to adjourn.  Lynne seconded.  Both approved.


Budget reviews will begin at 1 p.m.  These meetings are open to the public.





(ss) Jim Harris, Chairman

(ss) Lynne Oharah, Commissioner

(ss) Clifton Beth, Commissioner





Ashley Shelton, Bourbon County Clerk

July 11, 2022, Approved Date