‘Good news’ and ‘taxes’ not mutually exclusive terms

Overland Park residents will be taxed at a lower rate in 2018 because of the city’s relatively stable financial situation and strong property values.

The city recently gave final approval to a $292 million budget, which is a 4.9 percent increase from the current year. Of that, $128 million is for day-to-day operating expenses.

The unanimous vote set the taxing rate at 13.55 mills, a decrease of .25 mills from this year. That doesn’t necessarily mean total tax bills will be lower, though. Property taxes are tied to a home’s value, and values were generally higher in the county this year. The owner of a $300,000 home in Overland Park would pay $467 in taxes for city services next year. The budget anticipates an 11 percent increase in major maintenance projects but a decrease in debt service of about 20 percent. It also adds 11.55 full-time-equivalent positions to the city work force of 1,077.46. Sales tax revenues are projected to grow by about $6 million – or about 8.7 percent – next year due to the new .25 percent sales tax to build a county courthouse. The county shares that revenue with the cities. Without the courthouse tax, the sales tax growth rate would be 3.3 percent.

(Read more: KC Star Local News)