Unusual Laws in Kansas City You Should Know
Posted in Local News on January 20, 2019
Most states have a few unusual laws if citizens know where to look for them. Many weird laws today began as relevant statutes, but have grown out of touch with modern society over time. When states and cities do not bother to remove irrelevant ordinances, they technically remain part of the municipality’s code, even if seldom put to use. Kansas City has a few eyebrow-raising laws that may still apply to some citizens.
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The Single Male Tax Law
In Kansas City, an unusual tax law could lead to an additional $1 in taxes for certain citizens. Missouri has a tax law mandating all single men between the ages of 21 and 50 must pay an annual tax of $1. When the law went into effect back in 1820, $1 was the equivalent of about $20 today. It is anyone’s guess as to the reason for the extra tax. Another weird tax law that only applies in Kansas relates to hot air balloon rides. Kansas does not charge sales tax for untethered hot air balloon rides, but it does tax balloons tethered to the ground.
The Clawfoot Bathtub Law
One weird Kansas City law circulating the Internet bans consumers from purchasing or using bathtubs with four feet that resemble animal paws. Although researchers have been unable to locate the exact statute from which the rumor spread, enough sources list it as a law to give it viability. Apparently, Kansas City statutes prohibit the installation of bathtubs with clawed feet resembling animal paws. One possible reason for such as obscure law may have been to prevent the use of real animal paws to manufacture clawfoot bathtubs.
Strange Fishing Law
Kansas also has a strange fishing law that could result in fines for unsuspecting fishermen. No one may catch a fish with his or her bare hands in Kansas. Catching a fish with your bare hands could result in fines and penalties if a state officer sees you and decides to enforce this outdated law. This weird fishing law is technically still in effect in Kansas, giving the Department of Conservation the right to ticket lawbreakers, if desired. Stay on the safe side by only using nets, poles, and other approved means of fishing in Kansas City.
No Shooting Rabbits From Motorboats
This strange law still has a clear-cut statute in Kansas: Section 32-1003: Unlawful methods of taking wildlife. It is an infamous law that makes it illegal to hunt rabbits from a motorboat in Kansas. The law states that it is unlawful to take any game or fur-bearing animal from a motorboat, airplane, or motor vehicle. The only exception is if the hunter has a handicapped hunting permit.
No Hunting Ducks From Mules
Another weird hunting law in the state of Kansas bans people from hunting ducks using mules. This law, found in the state game rule, prohibits the use of mules to hunt for ducks in the state. The law is specifically for mules and ducks, rather than banning the hunting of ducks using all animals or using mules to hunt other types of birds.
Why Do Weird Laws Remain in Effect?
One local news station, KSHB Kansas City, interviewed the Assistant City Manager, Rick Usher, and asked why outdated ordinances often remain in effect. Mr. Usher says the city focuses its energy on taking laws off the books that negatively affect individuals or businesses. If a weird or irrelevant law is not causing any harm, the city does not expend any resources on removing it from the law.
Mr. Usher says weird laws are often put in place to begin with because of things that offended the people or elected officials at the time. The city often finds out about weird or archaic laws when they tie the hands of people who are trying to do something. The matter then goes to the dead letter office in the city, which reviews the law and makes a decision.