Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Proposed Shawnee County Budget Would Keep Property Taxes the Same

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Proposed Shawnee County Budget Would Keep Property Taxes the Same

Article excerpt

Shawnee County's property tax mill levy would stay the same next year under the current -- but not final -- version of the 2017 budget the county commission is considering.

Commissioners Shelly Buhler, Bob Archer and Kevin Cook made various revisions to that budget at their meeting Monday. The officials plan to take it up again when they meet Aug. 15.

The budget in its current form would keep the county's property tax mill levy at 48.266 mills, administrative services director Betty Greiner said after Monday's meeting.

The commission is required to finalize the 2017 budget by Aug. 25, though Buhler said Monday that she hopes to finish well before then.

Commissioners this summer held various public budget hearings after receiving a combination of requests from department heads, elected officials and organizations that -- if approved entirely -- would raise the property tax levy by 2.543 mills.

Commissioners used what they called a "2017 flat budget" as their starting point for revising budget line items Monday. Greiner said the flat budget amount was determined by:

- Taking the line item's 2016 budget.

- Adding in any 2017 wage increases recommended in a study conducted for the county by CBIZ Human Capitol Services.

- Adding in the 12 percent increase in health insurance costs for county employees next year.

- Subtracting the amount the county will save as a result of a decrease in its required payments to employee retirement plans.

The largest increases commissioners approved Monday involved raising to $2 million from $1 million the flat budget amount earmarked for capital outlay, and to $1 million from $500,000 the amount earmarked for contingencies.

Monday's moves also included decreasing the amount budgeted for the county's special liability fund to $100,000 from $150,000. …

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