Lynne Hermansen
Special to The Gardner News
A public hearing for the property tax rate exceeding the revenue neutral rate was held at Edgerton City Hall Aug. 26.
No one spoke at the public hearing, and the resolution was approved.
The mill rate for the 2022 city budget establishes the mill rate at 29.939 mills. Last year, the mill rate was 30.381.  Council will vote to approve the budget at the next meeting on Sept. 9.
Karen Kindle, finance director, said the mill rate would have been 28.964 if the county “hadn’t screwed up.”
Johnson County originally reported the Revenue Neutral Rate was 23.995, but it should have been 28.964.   The county’s mistake was nearly 5 mills.
Don Roberts, mayor, said there had been misinformation reported about the tax rate, and it was incorrect.
On June 10 city staff reported adjustments to the  revenue tax rate were property tax abatement, new land annexations, growth in assessed value of non-residential and residential properties, general obligation debt and errors by the county.
A second public hearing for the 2022 City Budget was also held.
Ron Conus, former councilman, said he didn’t approve of the rise in the city’s property taxes.
“We have the largest commercial development in the United States,” he said. “We received $500,000 this year, and you’re still raising property taxes.”
Conus said the income of immediate family households were the second lowest in Johnson County. “I’m not a fan of big government,” he said. “It takes a life of its own in the end.”
Conus said the city had the highest efficiency rate in 2017, but the Kansas Legislature’s passing of Senate Bill 13’s intent was to prevent politicians from raising taxes because of the lowest mill rates.
“The property tax graph showed the lowest in ten years, but I would label the chart as misleading,” he said. “The taxes paid to the city reached new heights and were the highest level paid in 15 years in Edgerton.”
Conus said no one said “no” at the last meeting. “I hope you will tonight as your last chance,” he said. “Stop raising taxes.”
Beth Linn, city administrator, said the prudent focus was to hold the public hearings, and the formal adoption of the 2022 budget will be at the September 9 meeting.
Kindle said changes had been made since the last work session.
The biggest change was information received on the TIF districts from the county, specifically for four TIF districts, she said.
Kindle said the districts are the Edgerton Office,  Homestead Lane A, Project Plan A1 (Travel Center) and Homestead Lane B and were approved in 2019.
The Edgerton office will have a small revenue increase, both Homestead projects will have an increase in parcels and the city has budget authority for both and Project PlanA1 had a small increase this year and will have another increase in 2022.
“The general fund schedule changes will have a revenue line adding incremental city property taxes going to TIF,” she said. “There are also administration fees from project plans.”

Other business:
The Greenspace project with Incite Design Studio passed.
Dan Merkh, public works director, said the project had been slower in implementing because they wanted to see how Covid would effect things.
The project was originally approved Oct. 24, 2019.
Roberts said he had heard from more and more people asking about the project.
“It is an amenity above anything Edgerton has had in the past,” he said. “It’s good for the community, and there has been a lot of input.”
The $4,130,000, 30,000 square foot project is for a Greenspace. It includes multi-use sports courts, meeting spaces, admin/management spaces, walking track, game, weight, fitness and movie rooms, a storm shelter and a splash pad.
City codes for signage regulations of Logistics Park were updated.
Katy Crow, development services director, said LPKC had not been originally included and are now incorporated into article 12.
“The code is easy to read, interpret and logical,” she said.
Crow said the distinction between internal and external signage is now clear.
Ordinances amending the city’s traffic code and uniform public code for definitions of ATVs, golf cart and recreational off-highway vehicle, spilling of loads and failure to comply with traffic citations were also updated.
During the mayor’s report Roberts cancelled the Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving meetings and rescheduled to November 18. The December 23 meeting was also cancelled.
The city will have a 6 p.m. work session on September 9 and 23. The September 23 work session will be for a meeting with Johnson County on solar regulations for an upcoming county Solar Farm project.