Proposed Shawnee Mission budget includes slight property tax reduction — but not enough to offset increased home values for many

Chief Financial Office Russell Knapp presented the budget to the board of education Monday. File photo.

Shawnee Mission financial administrators are proposing a 2018-19 budget that would include a slight reduction to the district’s property tax rate.

Chief Financial Officer Russell Knapp on Monday gave an overview of the district’s projected expenditures and revenue sources for the coming year as part of the annual budget process, which requires the district to submit a formal budget by August.

The district is required to approve a spending plan for the coming year by August.

The requested budget for 2018-19 would be $378,032,745. That’s an increase of about 5 percent over the projected expenditures for the current school year, which are $359,313,011.

Total funds available for district operations, excluding capital expenses, would be $236,535,478.

Of note for the 2018-19 spending plan:

  • 83 percent of the total operating budget — $195,360,634 — would go toward staff salaries and benefits.
  • Teacher salaries and benefits make up 48.2 percent of the operating budget, $112,840,949.
  • 5.4 percent of the operating budget — $12,713,799 — goes to administration, which includes central office administrators as well as building-level administrators.

The proposed property tax adjustment would take Shawnee Mission’s mill rate from the current 53.663 to 52.822, a reduction of about 1.5 percent.

For the owner of a home valued at $300,000 by the Johnson County Appraiser’s Office, the mill rate change would mean a reduction in total annual property tax liability to the district from $1,851.38 to $1,822.36 — savings of about $29 per year.

Of course, home values are not steady from year to year, so despite the proposed mill rate reduction, many Shawnee Mission homeowners will still be seeing an increase in the total amount they pay in property taxes to the district. Johnson County’s total residential appraised value increased by 8.03 percent from 2017 to this year — with pockets of northeast Johnson County seeing increases of 15 percent or more.

The school district accounts for the bulk of area homeowner’s total property tax liability, generally between 40 to 50 percent, depending on which city you live in. In Prairie Village this year, for example, homeowners were assessed a total of 122.18 mills for city, county, fire, library and community college services, among others. The school district’s 53.663 mills accounted for 44 percent of the total.

Knapp’s full budget presentation slideshow is embedded below. The board of education has its state-mandated public hearing on the budget tentatively set for its August 13 meeting.

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