Watch your wallet; a new round of tax increases is most likely coming your way.
Like a card trick with a sleight of hand, schools, cities and the county are determining budgets. Most will say they are “holding the mill” levy the same and expect a pat on the back. But don’t let them fool you, as property valuations increase (what the county appraiser determines the value of your property to be) your tax bill will also increase.
The Kansas Legislature tried to stop this “back door tax creep” by requiring all taxing entities to be more transparent. Before completing the budget, it’s now required that the government notifies taxpayers if they are going to exceed the Revenue Neutral Rate.
RNR is the mill rate to collect the same tax as collected the year before. The plan was to stop the severe increases in taxes that occur when the property evaluation increases, as Johnson County homes usually do.
If they use a mill (even if it “Holds steady’) that will bring in more tax revenue (ie. you pay more), the taxing entity must disclose that they are going to raise your taxes by not reducing the mill levy to offset the evaluation.
Simply, they use a sleight of hands to shout they are holding the mil levy current, when in actuality your taxes are increasing due to an increase in valuation, as determined by the county appraiser.
RNR was put in place to have truth in taxation, but – you guessed it – most local entities are opting out.
So expect to dig a little deeper, or work more hours, to feed the beast.
If you are tired of increasing taxes, show up to all the budget hearings. All of them, cities, schools, county, fire districts and townships.
And when they tell you they are broke, compare current budget to last year’s and see if the dollar amount has increased. As of June 2021 Kansas tax revenue was 14.8 percent greater than June 2020 — the pandemic year.
How much did your income increase?