WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Small businesses in Kansas can now apply to receive COVID-19 Retail Storefront Property Tax Relief.

Back in June, Governor Laura Kelly signed bipartisan House Bill 2136 to help small businesses recover from the pandemic by investing $50 million.

“We’re making sure small businesses can receive the support they need to hire workers, strengthen their products, and better serve their communities,” Kelly said. “My administration will continue to remain laser-focused on creating a stronger, more resilient economy to help every business and every family succeed.”

Courtesy: Kansas Office of the Governor

Eligibility

Generally eligible:

  • Retail storefronts are partially defined as “Real property where the claimant conducts retail sales through customers’ physical, on-site presence”
  • Businesses that were operationally shut down or restricted at their retail storefront by a COVID-related order or action imposed by the state, a local unit of government, or a local health officer
  • For-profit businesses in operation as of July 1, 2019, March 1, 2020, and are currently in active operations
  • Claimants who filed a 2019 tax return with annual revenues of at least $10,000 in the tax year 2019
  • Business owners with less gross revenue in the tax year 2020 or 2021 than in the tax year 2019

Not eligible:

  • Grocery stores and pharmacies
  • Hardware stores or home improvement businesses
  • Retail liquor stores
  • Manufacturers and food processors
  • Schools such as prekindergarten, kindergarten through grade 12, postsecondary, higher education, technical education and training
  • Hospitals and health care providers include, but are not limited to, physicians, surgeons, psychologists and psychoanalysts, but not including personal services providers such as massage therapists and chiropractors
  • Property management and real estate services, including owners and operators of short-term rental properties
  • Professional services, including, but not limited to, accounting, insurance, legal, financial services and firms, information technology, engineering, and architecture
  • Agriculture and aquaculture producers, including farms, ranches, and fisheries, but not including their retail storefronts, used to conduct retail sales to customers
  • Hosts or operators of vacation or short-term rental units
  • Passive businesses, investment companies, and investors who file a schedule E on their federal income tax returns
  • Financial businesses primarily engaged in the business of lending, such as banks, finance companies and factoring companies
  • Cable companies, telephone companies, utilities, and other similar businesses
  • Energy production, generation, and distribution companies

Also not eligible are business owners that have delinquent property taxes for a tax year before 2020.

Amount of Assistance

  • Only one claimant per retail storefront is permitted to receive assistance per tax year
  • Assistance is limited to $5,000 per tax year per retail storefront
  • No assistance will be granted for less than $5
  • Assistance payments will be in the form of a paper check
  • Assistance will be paid out of the American Rescue Plan-State Fiscal Relief-Federal Fund

Claiming Assistance

The Governor’s office says assistance through the COVID-19 Retail Storefront Property Tax Relief Act may be claimed by filing and submitting an application provided by the Department of Revenue.

To apply online, click here. The application must be filed with the department on or before April 15, 2023.

Payment of Assistance

Assistance will be paid directly to a claimant.

Disallowance or Reduction of Assistance

According to the Governor’s office, “If it is determined an application is or was excessive and was filed with fraudulent intent, the application will be disallowed in full and, if assistance has been paid, the amount of the assistance will be recovered by assessment as an income tax.”

Appeals

Any applicant whose application is adjusted or denied has the right to request an informal conference and can appeal any position taken by the department at the conclusion of the conference to the State Board of Tax Appeals.

For more information on eligibility, claiming assistance, the amount of assistance you can receive and more, click here.

According to the Governor’s office, the COVID-19 Retail Storefront Property Tax Relief Program is funded through the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which requires a federal Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) to be completed for a business to be eligible to receive assistance.

“Due to federal requirements, the Kansas Department of Revenue cannot process a retailer’s application for the Retail Storefront Property Tax Relief program unless a business has secured a federal UEI number,” Secretary of Revenue Mark Burghart said. “Doing so helps ensure the program’s guidelines are followed and the accurate accounting for disbursement of funds.”

A UEI can be issued at no cost through the federal System for Award Management website. It may take up to 25 days business days for new registrations to be processed.

Once registration is confirmed that it is completed, business owners can apply for the COVID-19 Retail Storefront Property Tax Relief program by clicking here.

Small business owners in Kansas have until April 15, 2023, to apply for financial assistance.

For questions, call the Kansas Department of Revenue at 785-368-8660.