JOHNSON COUNTY, Kan. — Later this summer, Johnson County homeowners can expect to get a preview of their property tax bill. In August, the county will begin mailing out estimated tax notices to property owners throughout the county.
“This is an estimated tax notice. It’s coming in August and is for informational purposes only. This is not a tax bill and should not be paid,” County Clerk and Register of Deeds Amy Meeker-Berg said.
Last spring the legislature approved Senate Bill 13, a bill that adds a public hearing requirement for any city, county, school district or other taxing jurisdiction that wants 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 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.
Any city or taxing district 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 by July 20. Taxing districts are required to host a public hearing to get feedback before voting on the final mill levy rate.
“We would be checking to make sure they [tax jurisdictions] have sent that notice of intent to exceed the revenue neutral rate. If they haven’t they would be capped at what their previous years’ valuation and property taxes were,”Meeker-Berg said.
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.
Each tax notice will include information on all taxing jurisdictions for that property. The estimated amount will be based on mill levy information submitted to the county.
The notice will also include the difference between the RNR and the proposed tax rate, as well as detailed hearing information for each taxing district planning to exceed a RNR.
Meeker-Berg said it will cost the county approximately $120,000 to send out over 200,000 estimated tax notices.
Final property tax bills will be issued around Nov. 1, after mill rates are finalized and taxes are calculated. Residents can find more information on the estimated tax notices on the county website.