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County Manager's Office

Phone: 913-715-0725

111 S Cherry, Suite 3300, Olathe, KS 66061

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1/4 Cent Sales Tax

Note: This information was published prior to the Public Safety Sales Tax vote in 2016.

What does a 1/4 cent sales tax mean to you?

The proposed sales tax would add 25 cents for each $100 spent on purchases in Johnson County. Here are a few examples of how the ¼ cent sales tax would impact purchases:

  • A $20 t-shirt would add 5 cents
  • A $400 television would add $1
  • An $898 refrigerator would add $2.25

Click here for a listing of current sales tax rates within Johnson County.

Revenues are shared with cities

The State of Kansas requires any sales tax levied by the county to be shared among cities. The breakdown is 63 percent of sales tax revenue will come to the county to build a new courthouse and coroner facility, while 37 percent of the sales tax revenue goes to cities in Johnson County. This proposed 10-year sales tax would have to go back on the ballot for voter approval in order for it to be extended beyond 10 years.

City Over 10 Years
Bonner Springs $45,000
DeSoto $1.4 million
Edgerton $713,000
Fairway $1.1 million
Gardner $4.8 million
Lake Quivira $285,000
Leawood $11.7 million
Lenexa $17.6 million
Merriam $3.3 million
Mission $2.3 million
Mission Hills $1.7 million
Mission Woods $69,000
Olathe $33.0 million
Overland Park $42.7 million
Prairie Village $5.4 million
Roeland Park $1.8 million
Shawnee $16.4 million
Spring Hill $982,000
Westwood $397,000
Westwood Hills $104,000

 

BOCC Meetings About the Public Safety Sales Tax

Note: This information was last updated on the day the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners voted to place two public safety priorities on the Nov. 8, 2016 ballot.

Transcripts and videos from Board of County Commissioners and Committee of the Whole meetings on this topic are available online:

Today, the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners voted to place two public safety priorities on the Nov. 8 ballot: a new courthouse & coroner facility to be funded by ¼ cent sales tax. Here's the approved ballot language: 

Shall the Board of County Commissioners of Johnson County, Kansas, for public safety projects, adopt and impose an additional one-fourth (1/4) of one-cent countywide retailers’ sales tax in Johnson County, Kansas, to be levied from and after April 1, 2017, for a period of ten (10) years, ending on March 31, 2027, with the revenue from that tax to be distributed as required by law to the county and to the cities in Johnson County, and the county share to be used to fund the costs of construction and operation of public safety projects, including the construction of a courthouse building and a coroner facility, together with the costs to demolish the existing courthouse, and for the costs of programs and facilities related to those projects, including the courts, administration of justice, and District Attorney?

The full news release is available here.

Today, the Johnson County commissioners agreed to move forward on a new courthouse and coroner facility. The proposed funding is a 10-year 1/4 cent public safety sales tax. In May, county staff will bring back to the Board of County Commissioners language that, if approved by a vote, will be placed on the ballot for the November 2016 general election.

The full news release is available here.

The current Johnson County Courthouse in downtown Olathe has housed the Tenth District Court of Kansas for more than half a century. The facility has gone through three additions and at least seven significant remodeling projects through the years, but continues to experience overcrowding conditions, accessibility and security issues, and demands for future space needs for additional courtrooms.

Experts, consultants and in-house county staff have analyzed more than 11 sites and 32 courthouse options since 2001. We have spent more than $1.7 million on studies over the last 15 years.

Studies and master planning in 2005 and 2008 concluded the courthouse is “inadequate and fails to meet even the current space requirements of the Johnson County Courts.” The studies cited inefficiencies in:

  • security, including movement, transportation and separation of inmates between visitors and court officials
  • costly mechanical systems
  • failing to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements
  • serving the general public

Click here for a 10-minute video that highlights the problems with the existing courthouse building and the proposed solution.

Studies also concluded that the county’s growth will require more space for court hearings in the future. When construction on the current courthouse building began in 1951, the county’s population was 62,783; today the county’s population is approximately 575,000 — a figure that’s expected to jump to 700,000 by 2025. Click here for a collection of photos that highlight some of the largest areas of concern with the existing facility.

Plans and discussion are now underway about how to move forward with the Johnson County Courthouse — the proposed solution is to construct a new 28-courtroom courthouse across Santa Fe Street north of the existing building. If plans to construct a new courthouse do not move forward, the county will need to renovate and add on to the existing facility while it is in use over the course of the next 13 years.

The Board of County Commissioners has discussed the courthouse project during several Committee of the Whole sessions; the next such discussion scheduled for April 14 at 11:00 a.m. The public is welcomed to attend Committee of the Whole sessions or watch them online here.

During a BOCC meeting in April, the commissioners will officially vote on whether or not to bring the project to a public vote in November.

Concerns with the Existing Courthouse

See a collection of photos that highlight some of the largest areas of concern with the existing courthouse building.

Inmate movement in public areas

Insufficient space to enter doorways

Crowded courtooms

Building too close to street

Crumbling exterior

Outdated technology

Educational Materials About the Proposed New Courthouse

Note: This information was last updated before the Public Safety Sales Tax vote on Nov. 8, 2016.

Preliminary rendering of new Johnson County Courthouse

Preliminary conceptual rendering of proposed new county courthouse by SFS Architecture.

Resources:

Public Safety Sales Tax Ballot Language

Note: This information was last updated after May 26, 2016 and prior to the public safety sales tax vote on Nov. 8, 2016.

On May 26, the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners voted to place two public safety priorities on the Nov. 8 ballot: a new courthouse & coroner facility to be funded by ¼ cent sales tax. Here's the approved ballot language: 

Shall the Board of County Commissioners of Johnson County, Kansas, for public safety projects, adopt and impose an additional one-fourth (1/4) of one-cent countywide retailers’ sales tax in Johnson County, Kansas, to be levied from and after April 1, 2017, for a period of ten (10) years, ending on March 31, 2027, with the revenue from that tax to be distributed as required by law to the county and to the cities in Johnson County, and the county share to be used to fund the costs of construction and operation of public safety projects, including the construction of a courthouse building and a coroner facility, together with the costs to demolish the existing courthouse, and for the costs of programs and facilities related to those projects, including the courts, administration of justice, and District Attorney?

Fall general election information

The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 8 general election is Oct. 18.

Advance voting will take place Oct. 24–Nov. 7 at the following six locations:

  • Hilltop Learning Campus, 7700 W. 143rd St., Overland Park, KS 66223
  • Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, KS 66212
  • Johnson County Northeast Offices, 6000 Lamar, Mission, KS 66202
  • Johnson County Government Sunset Building, 11811 S. Sunset Dr., Olathe, KS 66061
  • Johnson County Election Office, 2101 E. Kansas City Rd., Olathe, KS 66061
  • Okun Fieldhouse, 20200 Johnson Dr., Shawnee, KS 66218

Visit jocoelection.org for additional election information.

Public Safety Sales Tax Vote

Note: This information was last updated shortly after the Public Safety Sales Tax vote on Nov. 8, 2016.

Public safety sales tax passed by voters

On Tuesday, Nov. 8, Johnson County voters approved a 10-year, quarter-cent public safety sales tax to fund a new county courthouse and coroner facility. The county leadership has studied courthouse options over the past 15 years with recommendations for a new courthouse from numerous consultants, professional staff and citizen advisory groups. Funding the large project prevented the county from moving forward until now. Johnson County does not currently have a coroner facility; it uses a private lab in Wyandotte County. The public safety sales tax approved on Tuesday makes way for the construction of both projects in the next few years.
 
This public safety sales tax funding will be collected starting in April 2017 and ending in 2027. The courthouse design is expected to begin in 2017 with completion in about four years. Staff is currently developing a timeline for the construction of a coroner facility. Next steps include the Board of County Commissioners amending the county's Capital Improvement Program to include the courthouse and coroner facility projects. Following that action, the Public Building Commission can approve the projects and sell bonds.

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