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Budget and Financial Planning

Phone: 913-715-0605

111 S. Cherry St., Suite 2300, Olathe, KS 66061

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Frequent Questions

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.

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 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."

Budget Documents

FY 2021 Capital and Operating Budgets - PDF

If you would like to access the budget document and need an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodation, please use this form to let us know what reasonable accommodation you need.

Budget Calendar

FY 2022 Budget Schedule
Date Time Event
Thursday, May 6 1 to 5 p.m. FY 2022 proposed budget overview due to BOCC
Thursday, May 13 1 to 5 p.m. Department budget discussion
Thursday, May 20 1 to 5 p.m. Department budget discussion
Thursday, May 27 1 to 5 p.m. Department budget discussion
Thursday, June 3 11 to 3 p.m. Consider final FY 2022 budget
Friday, June 4 11 to 3 p.m. Consider final FY 2022 budget (if needed)
Thursday, June 17 9:30 a.m. BOCC sets maximum expenditure budget for publication
Monday, July 26 7 p.m. Public hearing on FY 2022 proposed budget
Thursday, July 29 9:30 to 11 a.m. BOCC reviews, approves fire district budgets
Thursday, July 29 9:30 a.m. BOCC reviews public input from hearing
Thursday, Aug. 5 9:30 a.m. BOCC adopts FY 2022 budget resolution
Wednesday, Aug. 25   County budget due to clerk (if no election)

Budget Basics

Where your property tax dollar goes

Although your property tax check is paid to Johnson County, only about 15 cents 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 (56 cents)

In FY 2019, 56 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 (15 cents)

In FY 2019, 15 cents of each property tax dollar collected in Johnson County is provided to revenue for County Government.

Cities and Townships (16 cents)

In FY 2019, 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 (5 cents)

In FY 2019, five 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 (3 cents)

In FY 2019, three cents 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 2019, 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 2019, a penny of each property tax dollar collected in Johnson County went to the State of Kansas as a funding source.