It’s budget season for local governments; that’s important because you pay taxes and foot the bill.
You’ll hear a lot of talk about the mill levy and holding it steady. Although it’s better than increasing the mil, even if it does remain steady, you’re still apt to pay more taxes.
There are two parts to basic taxation: mil levy and valuation.
If the county-paid appraiser determines your home’s value goes up – which is traditional In Johnson County – the amount of your tax bill will increase.
So, even if the mill levy stays the same, chances are the area government will receive more funding
It’s kind of a back door increase, and your only way out is to hire your own appraiser, take time and go thru an appeals process with the county.
There’s no doubt COVID19 and the subsequent nationwide shut down has made budgeting difficult.
Not just for government entities, but citizens who have lost jobs and businesses who were shut down.
Locally, Edgerton has fared better than many municipalities because the LPKC intermodal was relatively unaffected; in lieu of tax payments are still paid, and sales tax revenue from KCPL, have remained consistent.
On the other hand, Gardner is more reliant on city and county sales tax, which is expected to decrease.
Budgeting conservatively Gardner says they hope to keep the mill levy flat, and have cut $1.4 million from the budget; cuts which include keeping the pool closed, cutting the July 4 daytime events, and forestalling the purchase of police cars.
Gardner has a double whammy in that as a growing community, expenses have increased for overhead and staffing. It costs money to grow. Recently annexed property has to be serviced, and most large developments will come with abatements or special taxing incentives.
As yet, USD 231 has not had public discussions regarding the budget; due to the pandemic most board meetings have been virtual and short. Buildings have been closed and staff limited.
Whatever your thoughts are — now is the time to keep your eyes open, ask questions and be prepared for possible tax increases.