Financial management and budgeting

Stronger through…

A grey lock box with the Johnson County sunflower log on the side.

Johnson County Motor Vehicles introduced a Title Drop Off Service for newly purchased vehicles with convenient and secure drop off boxes located outside its Mission and Olathe locations.

…sound planning, management and stewardship

The BOCC, leadership and staff endlessly strive to be good stewards of taxpayer funds. Every effort is made to provide fair and equitable property appraisals and manage the tax rolls/collections for the entire county. We aim to provide sound financial management and planning for our budget, which allows us to serve the community, as well as manage our own organization’s finances. Successful work in this area in 2021 was performed by staff and leaders in Budget and Financial Planning; Financial Management and Administration; Treasury, Taxation and Vehicles; the Appraiser’s Office and the County Manager’s Office.

 The hard work from these employees allowed us to receive another coveted “Triple Triple-A” rating in 2021. This credit rating allows the county to obtain money for projects at a very competitive interest rate and is an achievement that places us in the top 1.3% of all U.S. counties.

…expert collaboration on valuation and taxation

Johnson County Government has the important and complex responsibility to fairly value all property in the county, calculate and clearly communicate taxes owed, make it convenient for those values to be understood and/or appealed and property taxes to be paid, and accurately disperse most of the taxes (only keeping about 15%) to other jurisdictions such as cities, schools and special districts. Successful work in this area in 2021 was performed by staff and leaders in Budget and Financial Planning, Financial Management and Administration, Treasury, Taxation and Vehicles, the Appraiser's Office and the County Manager's Office. The numbers below for 2021 help explain the process

…budgeting with a focus on board and community priorities

The FY 2021 budget included a .25 mill levy reduction. It totaled almost $1.25 billion, slightly less than the FY 2020 budget. The budget's expenditures aligned with the BOCC priorities and input from the 2020 Community Survey. Funds went to priority areas, including major capital projects, mental health services, aging services, addressing homelessness, public health and public transportation as the top areas for additional resources.

Due to anticipated reductions in revenue sources, such as sales tax and investment income, staff crafted a budget with $6.6 million in budget reductions, including 69 eliminated or unfunded positions without any layoffs of county employees. Reductions included staff taking on more work, potential slight service delays, reduced nonessential travel and training, deferred internal repairs and upgrades, and deferred projects and studies. (More detail on the FY 2021 budget on page 8.)

…innovating for customer convenience

The pandemic continued to result in staff being creative and coming up with new ways to serve the public. In addition to the online appraisal tools available at, in 2021, the Appraiser's Office installed a permanent drop box at 11811 S. Sunset Drive in Olathe for residents to drop off informal appeal applications and evidence. Johnson County Motor Vehicles continued to provide multiple convenient ways for customers to take care of their vehicle titling and registration renewals without having to come into an office. These tools include the website, drop boxes, email and mail.

…reorganizing for efficiencies

At the start of 2021, the BOCC approved the immediate reorganization of two county departments, Records and Tax Administration and Treasury and Financial Management, to improve customer satisfaction. The reorganization consolidated general government services – recording, taxation, treasury and motor vehicles into the Treasury, Taxation and Vehicles Department. Support services functions – financial management such as accounting and financial reporting, financial operations, benefits, procurement, risk management and shared services, to include archives and the call center, now reside in the Financial Management and Administration department.

Budget Principles

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

  • Fund ongoing operating expenditures with on-going revenue sources
  • Maintain a sufficient general fund reserve 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. Currently, 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.”

Examples of funded Requests for Additional Resources in the 2021 budget

  • Mental Health: additional county support ongoing, additional funding for Human Services in-home mental health counseling
  • MED-ACT: additional staffing of a new station for adequate coverage for the community
  • Public safety: New school resource officer (portion), and additional park police
  • Aging: $250,000 for services to support older adults in their home
  • Transit: designated funding to continue piloting our innovative micro transit program
  • Public health: funding for new epidemiology division, increased vaccine funding, an electronic medical record system that will create efficiencies, and increased expenses/staffing for Medical Examiner Office
A pie chart showing the budget categories that benefit from property taxes.
Category Percentage
State 1.2%
Special Districts 2.4%
Park & Recreation 2.5%
Library 2.6%
Special Assessments 3.1%
Schools - State 15.9%
Cities & Townships 16.7%
Schools - Local 40.2%


2021 Fiscal Year Revenue and Published Budget