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Is a Pipeline Without Property Tax Revenue Worth It?

February 3, 2010

Damaged Road in North Dakota

The issue of “who pays for TransCanada’s pipelines?” is being raised again in Kansas.

According to a Clay Center Dispatch article, five Kansas counties are working on legislation to “restore revenue they say they need.”

TransCanada’s Keystone project has plans to apply for a 10-year exemption from property taxes for the Keystone pipeline. Kansas is the only state the pipeline will pass through where it could get this tax break. Unsurprisingly, the affected Kansas counties don’t like this.

According to the Dispatch, TransCanada’s Keystone project says it will sue if it doesn’t get the tax exemption.

For an example of why the counties might feel they should be able to collect property taxes on the pipeline, check out yesterday’s letter from a resident of a South Dakota county where the Keystone pipeline has been built. According to the letter’s author, “Hutchinson County has now to contend with additional expenses to repair county roads that the pipeline crews ruined with their heavy equipment.”

Road damage from construction of the Keystone pipeline has been highly contentious in both North Dakota and South Dakota.

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