Shawnee considers giving property tax relief to low-income residents — here’s how it would work

Shawnee property taxes

Shawnee is considering piloting a property tax rebate program. If enacted by the city council, it could offer a 100% rebate of up to $500 on property taxes paid by low-income residents, many of whom live in eastern Shawnee. Above, a neighborhood on West 56th Terrace.

Shawnee is planning to create a new property tax rebate program for low-income residents.

Funding for the pilot program would come from roughly $98,000 that comprises the remaining balance in the 10 Quivira Community Improvement District Fund.

The Shawnee City Council on Monday had an extensive discussion about the rebate pilot program, driven mainly by comments in favor of helping out low-income residents as much as possible.

Still, no official action was taken, and the city council unanimously agreed to consider enacting the program at a future city meeting.

The 10 Quivira CID, also called Ten Quivira Plaza, is the shopping center located at the northwest corner of Shawnee Mission Parkway and Quivira Road.

About $98,000 in funds were collected from a temporary 1% sales tax on retail sales within the shopping district, which expired but continued collecting taxes before it was officially halted, according to city documents.

How it would work

The state of Kansas already offers property tax assistance for older residents and some low-income Kansans, so the city has suggested setting up the program in a way to prevent “double dipping” from property tax relief programs from both the state and city, though some residents could still access both sources of aid depending on their income level.

Here are some of the suggested parameters for the pilot property tax rebate program discussed by the city council:

  • Allow all low-income residents to participate, with no age restriction. The city would use the income level brackets as set by the U.S. Department of Urban Housing Development.
  • Set the rebate to 100% up to $500 maximum on the city property tax.
  • Restrict property owners who have received rebates from the state of Kansas, by asking a simple yes/no question and what amount they received. The city would use that data to evaluate the program’s first year.
  • Be flexible with the amount set aside to make sure no one is cut off from receiving funds, so long as funds are still available.

If approved by the city council, the program would begin in 2022, with the city setting aside $50,000 to use for that year — but allowing that amount to be flexible as needed.

The program could end after the $98,000 runs out.

Shawnee already offers a couple of rebate programs, but not for property taxes.

One current program allows refunds for fees paid on landline telephones for residents 62 and older. The other program allows a full rebate on electricity and/or gas bills, as well as the city’s stormwater utility fee for residents in the “very low income” bracket as set by the U.S. Department of Urban Housing Development, according to city documents.

Below is a recording of the meeting. Discussion begins at 2:05:56.