Homeowners in Johnson County brace for a rise in property taxes in 2016

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OLATHE, Kan.. -- Homeowners in Johnson County -- take notice. Your property taxes will soon go up. The Johnson County commission approved its 2016 budget, and it calls for a tax increase. Property taxes will climb for everyone who owns a home or other property in Johnson County. It's all to pay for improvements to the parks system, transit and the county's public library system as well.

The new budget kicks in on New Year's Day 2016, in a county where the average home is assessed at $261,000. The hike in property tax will differ from Olathe residents to non-Olathe residents, as property owners in the county seat will chip in to pay for parks, upgrades in local libaries and transit costs.

Jody Hanson, a spokesperson for the Johnson County Commission, provided this graph that explains the increases in tax hikes, and how they differ across the county:

Non-Olathe Resident Olathe Resident
$150,000 property value $4.75/month $3.67/month
$261,000 property value (current average in Johnson County)  






$400,000 property value $12.66/month $9.78/month

County manager Hannes Zacharias says he sympathizes with homeowners outside Olathe, who may feel they're paying more than their neighbors who live in Olathe.

"Olathe has a different set of expectations for libraries in its community.," Zacharias said. "That's what the difference would be. Olathe residents are paying for libraries in their city taxes -- not in their county taxes. They're still paying for it, but they're not paying it through us."

County leaders say they expect to generate an additional $3.3M by way of this tax increase. It's the first time Johnson County has raised the tax levy in nine years.

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