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Budget and Financial Planning

Phone: 913-715-0605

111 S Cherry, Suite 2300, Olathe, KS 66061

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Budget Basics

Where your property tax dollar goes

Although your property tax check is paid to Johnson County, only about 16 cents or 1/6th of every property dollar actually goes to County Government. The County collects the money as a function of the Johnson County Treasurer's Office. The greater portion is disbursed to schools, cities, and the county's six townships, and special taxing districts, including for fire services, libraries, and county parks.

Schools - 58 cents

In FY 2013, 58 cents of each property tax dollar collected in Johnson County were distributed from the county to the state as part of its legislative funding formula to support Johnson County public schools in the Blue Valley, Shawnee Mission, Olathe, De Soto, Spring Hill, Gardner-Edgerton school districts.

County Government - 14 cents

In FY 2013, 14 cents of each property tax dollar collected in Johnson County is provided to revenue for County Government.

Cities and Townships - 16 cents

In FY 2013, 16 cents of each property tax dollar collected in Johnson County were distributed as a funding source to the 20 cities in Johnson County and six townships.

Libraries and Parks - 4 cents

In FY 2013, four cents of each property tax dollar collected in Johnson County were distributed to fund Johnson County Library and Johnson County Park and Recreation District. Each received roughly two cents each in the annual property tax distribution.

Special Assessments - 5 cents

In FY 2013, a nickel of each property tax dollar collected in Johnson County was used to fund special assessments such as new streets, curbs and gutters, mowing charges or sewers.

Special Districts - 2 cents

In FY 2013, two cents of each property tax dollar collected in Johnson County were distributed to cemeteries, drainage, fire, and recreation districts in the unincorporated areas of the county.

State - 1 cent

In FY 2013, a penny of each property tax dollar collected in Johnson County went to the State of Kansas as a funding source.

Budget Calendar

FY 2017 Budget Schedule
Date Time Event
Thursday, April 28, 2016 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM BOCC Budget Planning Session - Preliminary CIP due to the BOCC (per County Charter)
Thursday, June 2, 2016 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM FY 2017 Proposed Budget Overview with BOCC
Thursday, June 9, 2016 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM Department Budget Discussion
Thursday, June 16, 2016 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM Department Budget Discussion
Thursday, June 23, 2016 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM Department Budget Discussion
Friday, June 24, 2016 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM Department Budget Discussion (if necessary)
Monday, June 27, 2016 1:30 PM -4:30 PM Consider Final FY 2017 Budget
Tuesday, June 28, 2016 1:30 PM -4:30 PM Consider Final FY 2017 Budget
Wednesday, June 29, 2016 1:30 PM -4:30 PM Consider Final FY 2017 Budget (if necessary)
Monday, August 1, 2016 7:00 PM Public Hearing on FY 2017 Proposed Budget
Thursday, August 4, 2016 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM BOCC reviews and formally approves Fire District budgets
Thursday, August 4, 2016 11:00 AM - 11:30 AM BOCC reviews input from Pubic Hearing
Thursday, August 11, 2016 9:30:00 AM BOCC adopts FY 2017 Budget Resolution

To view the Committee of the Whole sessions below, click on the link and then locate the Agenda in the meeting table. These agendas are also located on the Legislative Information Management System website at http://lims.jocogov.org.

Budget Principles

Historically, the County has adhered to the following budget principles in order to maintain a solid financial condition:

  • Fund on-going operating expenditures with on-going revenue sources
  • Maintain a sufficient General Fund reserve for for Triple AAA bond rating, unknown and unusual circumstances
  • Estimate revenues using a conservative approach to avoid budget shortfalls during the fiscal year.

These principles reflect the County's commitment to prudent financial management and the maintenance of existing credit ratings. Currenty, the County's general obligation bonds are rated "AAA" by Standard and Poor's, "Aaa" by Moody's, and "AAA" by Fitch. When rating the County's debt, Moody's Investors Service commented that the "highest quality Aaa rating reflects: Johnson County's sizable and wealthy tax base within the Kansas City metropolitan area, well managed finances characterized by revenue diversity and flexibility, financial operations to remain sound due to prudent financial management, modest debt levels with average principal retirement."

Budget Process

Each February, the Board of County Commissioners studies economic indicators that forecast the economic condition and predict general trends affecting Johnson County. With the assistance of staff and fiscal experts, including the advice and recommendations of the County Economic Research Institute, the Board estimates what the county's resources will be: revenue from taxes, from interlocal transfers, user fees, state and federal grants, and various other sources. Based on this information, the Board then sets a limit on what the county government can plan to spend. The spending affordability guidelines established by the Board place a ceiling on property tax revenues, a ceiling on the total operating budget, and allocate the projected revenue among the agencies and departments of county government.

In early May, agency and department directors submit detailed estimates of their anticipated funding requirements for the coming fiscal year as well as estimates of any anticipated revenues to be collected. The Budget and Financial Planning Department compiles this information and leads an extensive internal review process to determine how resources should be allocated within the spending affordability guidelines established by the Board of County Commissioners. The County Manager then undertakes a comprehensive review of the preliminary budget to determine if the proposed spending plan meets the broad goals and objectives set by the Board of County Commissioners.

When this review process is completed, the County Manager submits his proposed budget to the Board of County Commissioners, at which time the preliminary budget is also made available to the general public. This preliminary draft outlines important issues that face the community and presents specific plans on how the county government proposes to address them. The preliminary budget also provides projected service levels that the county government will be able to provide with the limited amount of resources that are expected to be available.

It is the Board's task to review these spending proposals comprehensively and to craft a budget that provides the services the people of Johnson County need and want at an affordable level. Between the time the budget is made available to the public and the time it is actually adopted in late August, several public hearings are conducted to gather input. These public hearings allow citizens to offer suggestions and ideas about the programs they would like to have included in the upcoming budget. In addition to these public hearings, the Board conducts several budget workshops that also are open to the public. By law, the county government is required to maintain a balanced budget and the final adoption of the county government's annual operating and capital budgets is the result of many hours of deliberation and input from a variety of sources.

The adopted budget communicates the county government's financial condition, serves as an operational plan, and outlines the goals the county government hopes to achieve (Annual Operating Budget). Realizing several diverse groups rely on the budget, the document has been organized to facilitate easy access to information about Johnson County.

The Budget and Financial Planning Department provides primary advice on fiscal strategy, coordinates financial planning efforts, and performs all budget-related duties under the direction of the County Manager. The department director is a member of the County Manager's cabinet and top advisor to the Board of County Commissioners.

For more information, please visit the Budget department's website, or contact the department during normal business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at (913) 715-0605.

Frequent Questions

What is the purpose of the county budget?

The budget is an annual financial plan for Johnson County Government. It specifies the level of county services to be provided in the coming year and the resources, including personnel positions, capital expenditures, and operating expenses needed to provide these services. It reflects the policies and priorities set by the Board of County Commissioners.

How much is the FY 2013 budget?

The maximum expenditure of the budget, as published, is set at $815.1 million, including budgeted expenditures of $669.7 with budgeted reserves of $145.4 million.

What is the county's current property tax rate?

The estimated property tax levy for the FY 2013 Budget has been set at 23.188 mills, roughly one percent less than 2011. It involves the county’s three taxing districts: County, Library, and Park and Recreation District. The estimated mill levy for the county taxing district in 2013 is 17.7 mills, 3.145 mills for the Library taxing district, and 2.343 mills for the Park and Recreation taxing district.

What is a mill?

One mill is equal to $1.00 of property taxes per $1,000 of taxable value.

What is the difference between property taxes and ad valorem taxes?

There is no difference. They are different names for the same tax.

What is an operating budget?

It is the county's annual financial plan for recurring expenses, such as employee salaries and benefits, utilities, supplies and equipment, and other costs required to provide public services and programs.

What are dedicated funds?

Certain revenue in the county budget is dedicated by either state law or county policy to specific programs. These "dedicated funds" cannot be used for any other purpose. For example, wastewater capital and user charges can only be used to help pay for wastewater projects and operations, fees and charges for library programs and services can only be used to support the library.

What is the CIP?

The Capital Improvement Program (CIP) is the county's annual financial plan for the construction of physical assets, such as construction of new buildings, improvements to existing county facilities, constructing and improving roadways, and funding of wastewater and stormwater projects.

The FY 2013 CIP totals $97.7 million. Excluding stormwater and wastewater projects (totaling $81.6 million), which have dedicated funding sources, the CIP features approximately $16.1 million for various capital projects, including:

  • County Assistance Road System (CARS) program;\
  • Capital improvements by the Park and Recreation District; and,
  • County's Bridge, Road, and Culvert Program.

What is the General Fund?

The General Fund pays for the day-to-day operations of critical services the public expects but which are not supported by any other revenues.

What is a fiscal year?

A fiscal year is a 12-month operating cycle that comprises a budget and financial reporting period. Fiscal years are different for governments.

The fiscal year for local governments, including Johnson County and its cities, begins on January 1 and ends on December 31 in the same calendar year.

The fiscal year for the State of Kansas begins on July 1 and ends on the following June 30.

The fiscal year for the federal government starts on October 1 and ends on the following September 30.

Who determines the taxable value of property?

The Johnson County Appraiser's Office, located in the Sunset Drive Office Building, 11811 South Sunset Drive, Olathe, annually assesses the taxable value of all property in Johnson County.

The Board of County Commissioners has no control over the taxable value of property; it only has control over the annual property tax rate that is levied.

What is property tax in Kansas?

Your property tax dollars are used by city and county governments to provide funding for roads, parks, fire protection, law enforcement, public schools, and many other local services.

What does the county appraiser do?

By state law, the county appraiser is responsible for listing and valuing property in a uniform and equal manner. The appraiser estimates only the value of your property. The amount of taxes you pay depends on the budgets set in August by city and county governments.

What is the sales tax rate for Johnson County?

The county's sales tax rate is 8.789 percent. This includes the statewide sales tax.

By state law, part of the revenue on some of the county's sales tax collections is shared with Johnson County cities. The county generally receives approximately 64 percent of the revenue and the cities get approximately 36 percent of the collections for their discretionary use for the Public Safety I and II sales tax. The County receives approximately 27 percent of the local sales tax while the cities receive 73 percent. The County receives 100 percent of the Stormwater sales tax.

What is the sales tax rate for the State of Kansas?

The State's sales tax rate is 6.3 percent.

What is the sales tax rate for Johnson County cities?

City sales tax rates, which include city, county, and state totals, vary:

  • Bonner Springs (the portion in Johnson County) and De Soto, 9.275 percent;
  • Gardner and Spring Hill, 9.025 percent;
  • Lenexa, 8.9 percent;
  • Mission, 8.775 percent;
  • Roeland Park, Merriam, and Shawnee 8.775,
  • Leawood, Olathe and Overland Park, 8.65 percent;
  • Fairway, 9.025 percent;
  • Edgerton, Mission Hills, Prairie Village, Westwood, and Westwood Hills, 8.525 percent;
  • Lake Quivira and Mission Woods, 7.525 percent.

Unlike a portion of the county's sales tax, the cities are not required by state law to share the revenue from their sales tax collections with Johnson County.

What are user charges?

User charges are fees paid to County Government in direct receipt of a public service by the party who benefits from the service. Fees paid for recreation classes or sports participation are examples of user charges.

How many employees work in Johnson County?

The FY 2013 budget has a budgeted workforce of 3,860.02 employees.

According to the County Economic Research Institute, Johnson County Government is the fourth major employer in the county following (in order): Sprint, Olathe School District, and Shawnee Mission School District.

What is an FTE?

The total scheduled work hours of county employees divided by the total work hours available annually provides the number of FTE (full-time equivalent) employees. A full-time employee working 40 hours per week equals one FTE where a part-time employee working 20 hours per week equals 0.5 FTE.

How can I get a copy of the County Budget?

A copy of the FY 2013 budget along with past budgets is available for reviewing and downloading online at the website of the Johnson County Department of Budget and Financial Planning.

County budget information can also be accessed at any Johnson County Library location or via the Library web site. A copy of the 2013 budget document is provided at the Central Resource Library and can be requested and sent to other library branches.