JOHNSON COUNTY, Kan. — Johnson County homeowners can expect to get an early snapshot of their property tax bill. Starting in August, Johnson County will begin mailing out more than 200,000 estimated tax notices to property owners throughout the county.
Johnson County Clerk Amy Meeker-Berg said it’s important for people to know the notice isn’t a bill.
“This is not a tax bill. It’s important to keep that in mind. It is for informational purposes only and it should not be paid,” Meeker-Berg said.
In 2021, the Kansas legislature passed a bill to remove the tax lid and set up new requirements for taxing authorities planning to exceed a revenue neutral rate in the proposed budgets for the coming year.
A revenue neutral rate (RNR) is a tax rate that would generate the same amount of property tax dollars as the previous tax year, using the current tax year’s total assessment valuation. A RNR is expressed in mills. A mill represents one one-thousandth of a dollar. That comes out to roughly $1 of taxes for every $1,000 a property is valued.
Any county, city, school district or other tax authority wanting to increase property taxes beyond the RNR must notify the county clerk by July 20. Taxing districts are required to host a public hearing to get feedback before voting on the final mill levy rate.
“The intent really is for taxpayers to engage in the budgeting process at a local level, so that if they do have concerns they can voice them at those public hearings. It gives them an awareness of what that estimated tax bill will be,”Meeker-Berg said.
Each tax notice will include information on all taxing jurisdictions for that property. The notice will list what a RNR would be for each taxing jurisdiction and if the jurisdiction plans to exceed an RNR or remain at the same rate. The notice will also include dates, times and locations for public hearings being held by tax jurisdictions intending to exceed a RNR.
Meeker-Berg said while cities and other taxing districts were required to host a public hearing to exceed a RNR last year, this will be the first time the county will send out tax estimates to residents.
Meeker-Berg said this year the legislature amended the law to grant county clerks the authority to cap or reduce the amount of property tax being levied by a tax authority if that authority doesn’t comply with the established law.
Because the August notice is not a bill, there is not a payment under protest process for this. Tax bills are expected to be issued in Nov. after mill rates are finalized and taxes are calculated. Similar to years past, county residents will still have the option to file a payment under protest for their final property tax bill. Residents can find more information on the estimated tax notices on the county website.