County adopts 2013 budget with no tax increase

 

As expected, the Johnson County Board of Commissioners has adopted a $815.1 million spending plan for next year that does not raise taxes.

On Thursday, the Board approved the county’s FY 2013 Budget with an estimated mill levy set at 23.118 mills, the same as the existing mill levy, which traditionally is the lowest among the 105 counties in Kansas. The county has maintained a constant mill levy since 2007.  One mill equals $1 on every $1,000 of a homeowner’s assessed valuation.

The final setting of the mill levy for the FY 2013 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.

The Board voted 6-1 for approval of the budget plan with Commissioner Michael Ashcraft dissenting.

The maximum expenditure authority in the total FY 2013 Budget is set at $815,116,100, including budgeted expenditures of almost $669.7 million, which are $12.2 million less than current budgeted expenditures, and budgeted reserves of $145.4 million, or approximately 18 percent. The county’s current budget is $810.6 million.

The FY 2013 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) totals $97.7 million. Excluding stormwater ($12 million) and wastewater projects (almost $54.3 million), which have dedicated funding sources, the CIP provides:

•    Almost $12.7 million for the County Assisted Road System (CARS) program;
•    $1.975 million for bus replacement by Johnson County Transit;
•    $1.9 million for the Bridge, Culvert, and Road program;
•    $1.3 million for land acquisition for the Johnson County Park and Recreation District’s Map 2020 project; and,
•    Approximately $13.5 million for various other capital projects.

In the new budget, County Government earmarks a 2.5 percent salary merit increase in 2013 for county employees. The salary of the Board of County Commissioners is excluded from a merit increase next year.

The  maximum number of FTE (full-time equivalent) county employees in FY 2013 is placed at 3,864.52.

The estimated FY 2013’s levy of 23.118 mills for Johnson County Government includes the county’s three taxing districts: County, Library, and Park and Recreation District. The estimated mill levy for the county taxing district next year is 17.700 mills, 3.145 mills for the Library taxing district, and 2.343 mills for the Park and Recreation taxing district.

Ad valorem taxes are expected to generate approximately $166.5 million, or approximately 25.9 percent of the county’s revenue. One mill of tax is estimated to generate $7.35 million for the County in 2013.

By state law, the Board must adopt the new budget each year by August 25. Johnson County’s fiscal year begins on January 1.

What’s the Bottom Line?

Johnson County Government’s new budget reflects a general lowering of appraised property values in Johnson County because of the lingering economic downturn.

The average home in Johnson County was valued at $238,000 in 2013; the average residential property appraised value in the FY 2012 Budget was set at $242,000.

The new budget projects that the owner of the average home in Johnson County, valued at $238,000, would pay approximately $635, or roughly $52.92 per month for the county’s portion of their property tax bill.  For the FY  2012 budget, the average home of $242,000 paid approximately $53.92 a month in property taxes or about $647 in total.

The approximate amount of county tax on a $1,422,135 commercial property is $8,244 for FY 2013. The county tax on a $1,379,980 commercial property for FY 2012 was about $8,023.

For Johnson County Wastewater, the FY 2013 Equivalent Dwelling Unit (EDU) charge is $148 per year, an increase of 7.25 percent from the current charge of $138.

The Wastewater Connection Fee remains unchanged next year from the current fee of $3,258. Beginning in FY 2013, there will be no system development fees.

The calculations are only for Johnson County Government and do not include other taxing entities, such as the state of Kansas, cities, or school districts.

More information about the FY 2013 Budget is available at www.jocogov.org.

 

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