The Johnson County Board of Commissioners (BOCC) adopted a $1.26 billion budget for next year with a constant mill levy.
The BOCC approved the county’s FY 2020 Budget with an estimated mill levy of 26.013 mills, the same as the existing mill levy. This includes an estimated mill levy of 19.024 for the County Taxing District, 3.901 mills for the Johnson County Library taxing district and 3.088 mills for the Johnson County Park & Recreation District taxing district. One mill equals $1 on every $1,000 of a homeowner’s assessed valuation.
The calculations are only for Johnson County Government and do not include other taxing entities, such as the state of Kansas, cities/townships, school districts or special assessments/special districts. The County Taxing District portion of an annual tax bill is approximately 15 percent.
The final setting of the mill levy for the next fiscal year will be established by the end of October with the final property valuations by the Johnson County Department of Records and Tax Administration.
On average, residential property owners will pay $987 in county property taxes for 2020— about $82 per month, based on the average home value in the county, approximately $330,000.
“Budget challenges are always a part of the annual process. It is critical that we remain committed to our fiduciary responsibility as stewards of public funds, and to ensure that tax dollars are being spent in an efficient and cost-effective manner,” Ed Eilert, chairman, said. “This budget achieves this important objective by county government for the Johnson County community and our residents.”
The maximum expenditure authority in the total FY 2020 Budget is set at almost $1,259,839,051, including budgeted expenditures of slightly more than $937.1 million and budgeted reserves of almost $322.7 million, or approximately 26.5 percent. The county’s current budget is $1.097 billion. The funding supports the departments and five agencies that comprise Johnson County Government to serve and protect a county population currently estimated at more than 604,000 residents.
In the new budget, County Government earmarks a three percent salary merit pool in 2020 for county employees. The maximum number of FTE (full-time equivalent) county employees in FY 2020 is placed at 4,067.62, including additional staffing for the District Attorney’s Office, Sheriff’s Office, Park Police Department, Human Services Department and Mental Health Center.
“I am proud of this budget that addresses the community feedback and supports the Board’s priorities while being fiscally responsible,” said Penny Postoak Ferguson, county manager.
The FY 2020 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) totals almost $253.5 million. Excluding stormwater ($15.1 million) and wastewater projects ($122.7 million), which have dedicated funding sources, the CIP provides:
• $54.6 million for a new Mental Health and Public Health Building when the project is authorized;
• $16.6 million for the County Assisted Road System (CARS) program;
• $13.6 million for Antioch Library replacement when the project is authorized;
• $9.2 million for Park & Recreation capital projects;
• $2.7 million for bus replacement for Johnson County Transit – RideKC in Johnson County; and,
• $2.0 million for the Bridge, Culvert, and Road program.
By state law, the BOCC must adopt the new budget each year by Aug. 25. Johnson County’s fiscal year begins on Jan. 1.