Picture a map of Johnson County from a bird’s eye view. Then imagine several other maps overlaying the County map. Layer on the maps of the 20 cities, then the maps of all six school districts. Then add on maps that define areas you may be less familiar with, such as recreation, fire and cemetery districts.
Now, picture taking a pin and sticking it into the exact location of a piece of real estate (a house or a commercial building) you own. Each map layer that your pin sticks through is a taxing district to which you pay property taxes.
The best ways to see your layers is to grab your most recent Johnson County property tax bill. If you don’t have the paper copy handy you can look it up online at land.jocogov.org. You will see some information that looks like this:
Tax Authority Rate Tax Amount
STATE OF KS 1.5000 44.28
JOHNSON CO 17.7640 524.40
COMM CLGE 9.4610 279.29
JO CO PARK 2.3490 69.35
OLATHE CITY 24.7010 729.19
233 UNIFIED 31.3960 926.84
233 SCH GEN 20.0000 544.42
233 BOND 16.4720 486.27
Tax Authority is the district (or layer) to which you owe taxes.
Rate is the mill levy for that taxing district.
Tax amount is the amount you owe to that district based on your property’s assessed value (click here for the last Budget Blog if you need a refresher on how to calculate a mill levy.)
Things to note:
Other line items you may see on your property tax bill:
If you take the sample above and combine the three line items for the Olathe School District, note the percentage of the total for each authority.
State of Kansas: $44.28, 1%
Johnson Co. General Fund: $524.40, 15%
Johnson County Community College: $279.29, 8%
Johnson County Park & Recreation District: $69.35, 2%
City of Olathe: $729.19, 20%
Olathe School District: $1,957.53, 54%
The job of the Johnson County Treasurer is to collect the taxes on behalf of all of the taxing authorities in the County, and then disperse them to those authorities. In this sample, only 17 percent of the taxes collected on this property stay with Johnson County (Johnson County General Fund and Johnson County Park & Recreation District). Not only does the other 83 percent not stay with the County, but we don’t set those mill levies for another other taxing authorities. You might be interested in looking at your own tax bill and learn about where your taxes go.