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55-169a. Same; definitions. As used in this act and in K.S.A. 55-155, 55-173 and K.S.A. 2023 Supp. 55-151, and amendments thereto:

(a) "Surface" or "surface estate" means a specific tract of land and improvements thereon created by and held in fee or other legal title under a deed or other instrument of conveyance, or equitable title under a recorded contract for deed, by a person other than the United States, a state, an Indian tribal organization or any agency, instrumentality or subdivision of any of the foregoing, regardless of whether such person also owns or otherwise holds interest in the mineral estate underlying the surface estate; and

(b) "surface owner" means a person or a designee of such person who holds or owns legal title to the surface estate or an interest therein, as shown on the records of the register of deeds for the county where the surface estate is located, and who is assessed real estate property taxes in accordance with the records of the county treasurer, except that surface owner shall not include a tenant or persons whose only rights to use that surface estate are based upon an easement, right-of-way, license, mortgage lien, severed mineral interest or any non-possessory interest in the surface.

History: L. 2009, ch. 127, ยง 2; July 1.

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