On Thursday, June 17, the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners set the maximum expenditure authority for legal publication for the Proposed FY 2022 Operating and Capital Improvement Budget.
The budget aligns with the board’s priorities, including completing major capital projects, protecting the county’s vulnerable and aging populations, developing a vision for a financially sustainable transit plan, and focusing on innovative initiatives that enhance operational effectiveness and efficiency.
The maximum proposed FY 2022 budget is approximately $1.45 billion ($1,448,443,368) with a published estimated mill levy of 25.497 mills. That is a .300 mill levy reduction from the FY 2021 mill levy. However, due to pending exemptions, once assessed valuation is finalized in October, the mill levy is estimated at 25.547 or a .250 mill levy reduction. If approved, it will mark the fourth time in five years that county government has reduced the mill levy at least a quarter mill.
“The budget and estimated mill levy as published cannot be increased, but it can be reduced,” said Chairman Ed Eilert. “This is not the final budget vote, and we will still hear from the public and always welcome their comments.”
The board made four additions to the county manager’s FY 2022 proposed budget:
• $89,644 for a full-time Juvenile Services Center mental health clinician for the Department of Corrections.
• A one-time $150,000 contribution to the Enterprise Center of Johnson County.
• A one-time $10,000 contribution to the Soil Conservation District.
• A one-time $9,725 contribution to United Community Services Human Service Fund.
On Thursday, the board directed the Department of Budget and Financial Planning to proceed with publishing the proposed taxing levies for the county’s three taxing districts – county, library and park and recreation – and their maximum operating expenditures for next year.
The proposed FY 2022 mill levy is 18.514 mills for the county’s taxing levy, retaining Johnson County’s traditional position of having the lowest mill levy among all 105 Kansas counties. The proposed budget has slight decreases to the mill levies for the Library Taxing District 3.896 mills) and Park and Recreation Taxing District (3.087 mills). One mill equals $1 on every $1,000 of a homeowner’s assessed valuation.
As required by state law, the board’s authorization Thursday also officially notified the county clerk of the proposed intent to exceed the revenue neutral rates for the county’s three taxing districts.
The budget proposal for next year includes slightly more than $1 billion in expenditures, including a Capital Improvement Program totaling $161 million and roughly $445.3 million in reserves. The budget will fund more than 30 departments and five agencies that comprise Johnson County Government to support and protect the estimated 610,000 residents in the county.
A public hearing on the proposed FY 2022 budget is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 23, in the board’s hearing room located on the third floor of the Johnson County Administration Building, 111 South Cherry St., in downtown Olathe.
The hearing will provide an opportunity for the public to learn more about the proposed budget and comment on how county services are financed. The hearing will be live streamed on boccmeetings.jocogov.org and Facebook Live for those unable to attend in person.
Formal adoption of the FY 2022 budget is scheduled on or about Sept. 2 during the regular BOCC business session, beginning at 9:30 a.m. in the board’s hearing room. By state law, Kansas counties must adopt and file their FY 2022 budget with the county clerk, which in Johnson County is the Department of Treasury, Taxation and Vehicles, by Oct. 1.
The final setting of the FY 2022 mill levy will be established by the end of October with the latest property valuations by the Department of Records and Tax Administration. The mill levy calculations are only for Johnson County Government and do not include other taxing entities, such as the state of Kansas, cities or school districts. County government traditionally represents approximately 15% of annual property tax statements.
The county’s fiscal year begins Jan. 1, 2022.
Details about the proposed FY 2022 budget and budget process are available online at www.jocogov.org.