Archive for Wednesday, August 8, 2001

County to raise tax rate

August 8, 2001

If recent proposals from the Basehor City Council and the Leavenworth County Commission go through as expected, the residents of Basehor could be hit with a 21-mill increase next year when paying their property taxes.

Both the City Council and the County Commission will have budget hearings Aug. 13, either to approve or reject the increases.

These figures do not take into account the mill levy of the Basehor-Linwood School District. The School Board has scheduled its budget hearing for Aug. 20. (See related story on this page)

A mill is $1 for every $1,000 of assessed property value. Currently, the mill levy in Leavenworth County is 32.124 and the average mill levy in Kansas is 49.93.

The Leavenworth County Commission is seeking a nine-mill levy increase over the previous year and the Basehor City Council is also hoping to approve a 12-mill levy increase to offset shortages in the city's sewer fund.

Leavenworth County Commissioner Joe Daniels said there are several factors the County Commission took into account when proposing the increase.

One factor was an overwhelming response from county residents regarding the construction of new roads, as well as improvement to existing roads. Three mills have been budgeted for road construction.

"If we can get the roads improved, we could get more businesses," Daniels said.

Funding for roads will increase in 2002 to approximately $5 million, up from $4 million in 2001.

Other factors include funds set aside for economic development and funds for the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Department.

The County Commission was also hit with paying for flood damage to the city of Easton earlier this summer. Daniels said the county is continuing to pay for flood relief and other services for Easton.

Daniels expects the County Commission to approve the mill levy increase at the budget hearing.

"We have worked on the budget every day, eight hours a day, for over two months," Daniels said. "We have had some hard decisions to make. We are just trying our best to cover these expenses."

The Basehor City Council is also expected to approve a 12-mill increase for the 2002 budget as well as raise the sewer rates for the residents of Basehor.

The Basehor mill levy is currently at 16 mills and the sewer rate is $4.82 per 1,000 gallons.

The City Council is expected to raise both rates at its budget hearing.

City officials said the mill levy increase and the sewer rate increase are due to a shortfall in the sewer fund.

To meet payments to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for the city's new wastewater treatment facility, a raise in the rates is required, city officials said.

An additional five-mill levy increase for the improvements of roads in the city will also be discussed, however, council members have said the increase for roads is unlikely to gain approval.

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