Roeland Park approves budget holding tax rates, but includes additional spending

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The Roeland Park City Council approved a 2015 budget Monday that holds property tax rates steady, but does include new spending and increases reserve funds.

The total property tax mill levy was set at 33.377, nearly the same as the 2014 level of 33.379. The rate will raise about $51,000 more due to an increase in assessed valuation of more than $1.5 million. The budget is still predicated on Walmart leaving the city in October of 2015, resulting in a reduced sales tax revenue for the last months of the year.

Besides more money headed for reserves, the budget predicts additional spending next year, including $100,000 for street maintenance, nearly $75,000 for increased personnel costs, and more than $34,000 for ash tree removal.

Roeland Park expects to get 34 percent of its revenue from property tax and 24 percent from sales tax. Another 31 percent comes from city-generated revenue such as fines and franchise fees. A few speakers at the Monday budget hearing expressed concerns about the increased spending.

The city raised property tax rates last year with the intention of holding the rates steady for three years and prepare for the loss of income from the Walmart relocation.