Talking taxes: How new legislation is shaking up what Kansans pay in property taxes

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OLATHE, Kan. —New legislation going into effect this year could play a big role in how much you pay in property taxes in Kansas.

In March, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelley signed SB13, a bill that adds a public hearing requirement for taxing subdivisions that want to collect property taxes beyond a revenue neutral rate.

A revenue neutral rate (RNR) is a tax rate that would generate the same amount of property tax dollars for the city 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 about $1 of taxes for every $1,000 a property is valued. 

SB13 eliminates the tax lid and automatically reduces the mill rate so the new valuations reflect the same amount of property tax as the previous year.

Any entity wanting to increase property taxes beyond the RNR, either through increased property valuations or by raising the mill levy rate must notify the county clerk and hold a public hearing between Aug. 20 and Sept. 20 to get public feedback before voting on the final mill levy rate. 

If a city or other taxing entity has a mill rate that doesn’t change from the previous year, a residents’ property tax will fluctuate with the value of their home. If a home value decreases or remains the same, the owner will not see their property taxes increase. If a home value increases, the property taxes will increase proportionately to the home valuation. You can look up an estimated valuation of your home using the Johnson County Land Record Search Tool.

Starting in 2022, county clerks will be required to mail property owners notifications about proposed property tax increases at least 10 days before the scheduled public hearing. This year a taxing entity is only required to publish hearing information on its website.

Here’s a look at how you can provide feedback for cities in Johnson County that plan to exceed a revenue neutral rate for the 2022 budget.

Overland Park

The City of Overland Park will host a public hearing on Monday, Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m. to get feedback on the city’s intent to increase the mill levy from a neutral rate of 13.174 mill to 14.582 mill. That equates to about a 10.7 percent increase. 

According to the Overland Park 2022 proposed budget, the current property tax rate is 13.582 mill. Based on the proposed budget, the slated 7.4 percent mill levy increase over last year would provide additional funding to hire more Fire Department staff and support the creation of a Behavioral Health Unit for Overland Park Police. The Overland Park City Council is scheduled to vote on the approval of the 2022 budget during the regular council meeting on Monday, Sept. 20. 

Olathe 

The City of Olathe will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. to discuss the city’s proposed 2022 budget exceeding a revenue neutral rate. The proposed 2022 budget currently includes a proposed tax rate of 25.298 mill. 

That’s a three and a half percent increase over the current 24.440 mil rate and a nine percent increase over a revenue neutral rate of 23.210 mill. The Olathe City Council is scheduled to adopt the 2022 budget on Sept. 21. 

Leawood

The City of Leawood will host a public hearing for the 2022 budget on Tuesday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. City leaders intend to exceed a revenue neutral rate by establishing a 24.806 mill. That’s about a one percent increase from the 2021 mill rate (24.548 ) and a three percent increase over the revenue neutral rate of 24.080.

Shawnee 

The Shawnee City Council will host a public hearing to adopt a revised 2021 budget and to adopt the 2022 budget on Monday, Sept. 13 at 6 p.m. Under the proposed 2022 budget, Shawnee city leaders intend to keep the tax rate at the same level as fiscal year 2021 (26.501 mill). The county clerk has determined a revenue neutral rate for the city would be 24.831 mill. 

Prairie Village 

The Prairie Village City Council will meet at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 7 to hear public feedback on exceeding a revenue neutral rate in the proposed 2022 budget. Under the 2022 proposed budget the property tax rate in Prairie Village will remain the same as last year (19.321 mill). The revenue neutral rate in Prairie Village would be 18.386 mills.

According to the city website, the difference between the proposed property tax rate and the revenue neutral rate is about $3 per month for the average homeowner. The difference to the City budget is approximately $500,000.

Lenexa 

The City of Lenexa held a public hearing on Tuesday, Aug. 24 to get feedback from residents on the city’s intent to exceed a revenue neutral rate of 27.232 mills for the 2022 budget. The Lenexa City Council approved a tax rate of 28.942 mills for fiscal year 2022. This is a decrease of about 0.3 percent from last year, but a 6.3 percent increase over the revenue neutral rate.

Merriam

The Merriam City Council held a public hearing on Monday, Aug. 23 to get feedback from residents on the city’s intent to exceed a revenue neutral rate. A revenue neutral rate for the city was set at 26.090 mill. The Merriam 2022 budget includes an estimated 5.6 percent increase in property valuation. 

While the proposed 2022 budget did not include a property tax increase, under the new law the city was still required to hold a public hearing. The council unanimously approved the 2022 budget including a 27.558 mill rate. This is the same mil rate as the 2021 fiscal year, but a 5.6 percent increase over a revenue neutral rate.

Roeland Park 

The City of Roeland Park held a public hearing on Monday, Aug. 23 to get feedback from residents on the city’s intent to exceed a revenue neutral rate. 

The revenue neutral rate for the city is set at 26.889 mill. The Roeland Park City Council approved the 2022 budget to include the same property tax rate from 2021 (28.548 mill). That tax rate is a six percent increase over the revenue neutral rate.

Based on the estimated 2022 valuation from the county, property valuation is expected to increase by approximately 5.7 percent in Roeland Park. 

Gardner

The City of Gardner is scheduled to host a public hearing regarding its intention to exceed the revenue neutral rate on Tuesday, Sept. 7 at 7:00 p.m. The Johnson County Clerk calculated a revenue neutral rate for the City of Gardner as 19.278 mills. For the 2022 budget, city staff are recommending a 20.165 mill rate. That’s roughly a 2.42 percent decrease from the current tax rate (20.665 mill) and a 7.2 percent increase over the revenue neutral rate. 

Spring Hill 

The City of Spring Hill will host a public hearing on Thursday, Sept. 9 at 7 p.m.to discuss the city’s proposed 2022 budget exceeding a revenue neutral rate. The proposed 2022 budget lists the 2022 property tax rate at 39.661 mill, leaving it at the same level as last year. If approved the mill rate would exceed the county specified revenue neutral rate (35.948 mill) by roughly 9.3 percent.  

Edgerton 

On Aug. 26, the Edgerton City Council held a public hearing on exceeding a revenue neutral rate in the 2022 budget. Under the 2022 budget, the property tax will be set at 29.939 mills. That’s roughly a three percent decrease from the 2021 mill rate (30.881 mill) and a 24 percent increase over a revenue neutral rate of 23.995 mills. 

Johnson County Community College 

The Johnson County Community College will host a public hearing on Thursday, Sept. 16 to get feedback on the college’s intent to exceed a revenue neutral rate in the 2022 fiscal year. The meeting will be held at 5 p.m. at 12345 College Boulevard, Overland Park. 

According to the Johnson County Clerk, a revenue neutral rate for the college is 8.771 mills. The 2022 budget includes a proposed reduction of the property tax rate from 9.121 mill to 9.086 mills. This is a 0.38 percent decrease from the 2021 budget, and a 3.6 percent increase over a revenue neutral rate.

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