Graphic courtesy of Johnson County


Albert Rukwaro
Special to The Gardner News
More than 7,000 property owners in Southwest Johnson County received an erroneous Fire District No. 1 tax bill.
According to a letter sent to property owners by the county’s Records and Tax Administration (RTA), some parcels were charged too much tax for the fire district while others were not charged at all.
Jody Hanson, county director of public affairs and communications, said in a statement that the issue impacted 7,800 property owners and involved 10,000 parcels.
“The issue wasn’t caused by an error in the tax calculation. It occurred because a section of property values in the district were erroneously left out when the calculation was done,” she said.
Hanson said that the problem was discovered when Rob Kirk, Fire district No.1 chief, received his tax bill and noted the variance in the district’s tax levy.
“RTA immediately began investigating the issue, solving it and making a plan to contact impacted property owners,” she said.
Kirk, in a written response, referred all questions back to RTA, saying he and John Bartolac, RTA director, agreed the county would answer all questions as it was the county’s error.
“I do not know how it happened,” Kirk wrote, “nor what measures they put in place to avoid it from happening in the future.”
In the letter sent to property owners, Bartolac said the agency will adjust the second half tax bill to include the new levy for the fire district. The adjustments will be ready by March 15.
Affected property owners can view their tax bill online at https://taxbill.jocogov.org/.
Last month the county mailed notices of appraised values to residential property owners.
There were 197,967 notices mailed to residential property owners Feb. 25. Ninety-three percent of residential values increased for the 2019 valuation year. Out of that, 76 percent of residential property values increased by 10 percent or less. The average increase across the county is 5-8 percent.
Spring Hill saw the largest increase in appraised value at 20.28 percent, from $199,499 to $239,961.
In Gardner the increase in appraised value was 5.71 percent, from $206,086 to $217,855; Edgerton, 6.41 percent from $139,643 to $148,593; Olathe, 6.56 percent from $264,042 to $281,37.