OLATHE, Kan. — Residents in Johnson County could soon see their property tax rate decrease, but still end up paying more overall. 

On Thursday, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) reviewed a budget proposal that could reduce the mill levy in all three of the county’s taxing districts. 

The proposed budget drafted by County Manager Penny Postoak Ferguson recommends a reduction for the County Taxing District (0.82 mills), the Johnson County Library (0.10 mills) and the Johnson County Park and Recreation District (0.08 mills) for a total of one mill levy reduction.

A mill represents one one-thousandth of a dollar. That comes out to about $1 of taxes for every $1,000 a property is valued. 

Residents’ tax bills are determined based on the mill levy rate and the value of their property. A majority of homeowners in Johnson County will likely see their property tax valuations increase this year. According to the County Appraiser’s Office, the average valuation increase across the county is estimated at about 11%. 

County leaders will consider setting the levy at 24.568 mills for the 2023 budget, down from the 25.47 rate approved last year. If the reduction is approved in the 2023 budget, it would be the largest decrease in the county’s overall mill levy since 1999. 

The proposed 2023 budget totals roughly $1.64 billion with expenditures estimated at $1.15 billion and reserves set at $488.1 million. The proposed Capital Improvement Program (CIP), totaling $264.1 million, includes:

  • $130.9 million for Wastewater capital projects.
  • $23.3 million for the Stormwater Management Program.
  • $21.8 million for Commerce Center phase II at the New Century AirCenter.
  • $20 million for Park and Recreation District’s Capital Improvement Plan.
  • $17.2 million for the County Assistance Road System (CARS) program by Public Works.
  • $9.8 million for a new Med-Act facility in Olathe.
  • $5.5 million for Johnson County Library projects.
  • $3.6 million for bus replacement for Johnson County Transit.
  • $2.4 million for bridge, culverts, and road construction safety program of Public Works.

For the next month the BOCC will meet weekly with county departments and agencies to review and make changes to the proposed budget plan for 2023.

The county will host a public hearing on the proposed budget on Monday, August 22. The BOCC is scheduled to adopt the 2023 budget on Thursday, Sept. 1. 

The final mill rate will be set by the end of October.