Archive for Thursday, November 2, 2006

Tax bills going out in county

Final valuation causes drop in levies published this summer

November 2, 2006

Tax bills will be going out to Leavenworth County property owners this week, with mill levy increases less than anticipated earlier this year.

Final valuations for each of the governing units levying property taxes on Lansing residents - the state of Kansas, the city, Unified School District 469, the county and Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1 - all came in higher than earlier anticipated when budgets were being prepared this summer. The higher valuations translate into lower mill levies than forecast at the county, city, school district and fire district.

"It's always better to come in lower than higher," said Lansing schools superintendent Randal Bagby. "The part we're held to is the budgeted amount, so it's nice when the valuation comes in higher."

In Lansing, residential property owners will face an overall levy of 118.273 mills. A mill is $1 in taxes for every $1,000 in assessed valuation.

In Kansas, residential property is assessed for tax purposes at 11.5 percent of its fair market value, meaning the owner of a home valued at $100,000 would have a 2006 property tax bill of $1,360.14.

Mike Smith, Lansing's city administrator, welcomed news that total valuation for the city in 2006 was pegged at $66.92 million, an increase of about $230,000 from the $66.69 million figure the city had used to formulate its 2007 budget.

The increased valuation shaved the projected city levy by .122 mills. It now stands at 34.575 mills for the year, slightly above 2005's levy of 34.513.

"I thought we'd be exactly even - maybe lower - than last year. But it came in just a little higher," Smith said of the city's mill levy.

Lansing school district's levy will come in at 50.25 mills for 2006. That's up 1.79 mills from a year ago, although district officials point out it's lower than the mill levy in 2004.

Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1, which provides fire service to the city and area, will have a 2006 levy of 3.767 mills to fund its budget, up from last year's 3.659 mills.

Leavenworth County is the only governing unit to cut its mill levy this year. The final levy of 28.181 mills is down 7.77 mills from a year ago.

The state levy of 1.5 mills is unaffected by the valuation.

County Treasurer Janice Young said her office mailed tax bills on Wednesday, Nov. 1.

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