Each taxing entity in Kansas must adopt a budget no later than August 25th. This budget indicates the total amount of tax dollars required to pay the costs associated with each of the entity’s funds.
A City General Fund will spend $10 million in 2002 and will receive revenues, including cash remaining from 2001, in the total amount of $4 million, that fund will need to raise $6 million in taxes.
All entities adopting budgets that levy taxes must publish their budgets and hold a public hearing before the August 25th deadline. The budget published then becomes the maximum budget for each published fund. The public hearing may lead the elected representatives of the entity to vote to lower the budget, but they cannot increase it without first publishing and holding another hearing. The adopted budget is turned over to the County Clerk.
As described previously, the Office of the Appraiser calculates the value of all property in the County. This value is separated into various taxing entities to enable the calculation of a levy.
If the County has a total assessed valuation of $1 billion, that number is used to calculate the levy for the County, the State, and the Community College. Since four school districts cover the entire County, each of those districts will have an individual value, the sum of which will be the same $1 billion. The county is made up of four cities and some unincorporated areas. Those five entities’ value would also total $1 billion. Finally, several entities do not cover the entire County. The (3) drainage districts cover a part of the county, so their value is less than the county's total of $1 billion. The Kansas City, KS Public Library is supported by USD 500. The rest of the County, outside of USD 500 and outside of Bonner Springs, pays a separate levy to support the library.
In September, the Appraiser will give the Clerk a report which indicates what the Assessed Valuation is (as of that date) in each of the taxing entity districts. The State will provide the Clerk with the total Assessed value, by district, of all property assessed by them. This includes railroads, utilities, and pipelines. The state appraises these properties to provide consistency across the state on these unique properties.
Kansas taxes are levied based on a mill rate, which can be calculated as Budget divided by Value.
The Clerk has accumulated the budget for each entity and the assessed valuation for each entity. Calculating the rate is a mathematical exercise.
Let us say that the County budget indicates a need of $30 million with an assessed valuation of $1 billion. The formula of 30 million divided by 1 billion results in a value of 0.03. This means the rate is 3 cents per dollar of assessed valuation. For simplicity, Kansas requires a mill levy rate be stated in terms of dollars per thousand dollars of valuation. Therefore, the official levy rate in the above example is 30. That is a levy of $30 for every $1000 of assessed valuation.
Three levy rates are fixed by the State without regard to valuation. The state levies 1 mill for educational buildings and one-half mill for correctional buildings. They also levy 40 mills for schools. These (3) levies are the same in every county in the state. The first two were set by the legislature some time ago and are seldom discussed. The 40 mills school levy is discussed annually by the legislature.
Once the above numbers are finalized, the taxes due on a particular property can easily be calculated.
If the property is not a personal residence, simply multiply the assessed valuation for the property by the total levy rate for all districts in which that property is located.
If the property is a personal residence, multiply the assessed valuation by the total levy reduced by the 40 mills school general fund levy. Then add to that number, the result of multiplying the total assessed valuation reduced by $4,600 (but not below zero) by the school levy of 40 mills.