Where do my Johnson County property taxes go each year? Here’s a breakdown

As a Johnson County resident, your property taxes are spread out between nine taxing districts. Here's how much of your tax bill each of them collects. Photo via Johnson County's website.

This week, Johnson Countians began to receive notice of what their property taxes could be in the upcoming year.

  • These notices contain information on how much taxpayers could pay next year based on property values, but not necessarily what those taxes pay for.
  • Here’s a quick breakdown of where Johnson Countians’ property taxes go — and what percentage of them go toward each taxing district.

What takes up the most of my property taxes? The tax bill of a Johnson County property owner is spread out between nine taxing entities, or districts.

  • At roughly 40%, the biggest portion of a Johnson Countian’s property tax bill typically goes toward local school districts — with another 16% going toward funding schools through the state.
  • In total, then, more than a half of a taxpayer’s annual tax bill in Johnson County goes towards public schools.
  • Another roughly 17% of property taxes each year go toward the city or township a taxpayer lives in.
  • The county itself collects roughly 15% of property taxes each year.

How are property taxes measured?

• One mill is equivalent to $1 for every $1,000 of assessed property value.

• Assessed property values are 11.5% of appraised, or market, values for residential properties. (So, a home appraised at $300,000 has an assessed value of $34,500.)

• So, divide your home’s assessed value by $1,000 and multiply that by a taxing jurisdiction’s mill rate to figure out how much in annual property taxes you will owe that jurisdiction under its proposed rates.

Where else do they go? Smaller increments of taxpayers’ annual tax bills include 2.6% toward county libraries and 2.5% toward the park and recreation district.

  • Roughly 3% goes toward special assessments (which includes infrastructure expenses like new streets, curbs and sewers).
  • Another 2.4% goes toward special districts (which funds cemeteries, drainage, fire and recreation districts in the unincorporated areas of the county).
Above, a graphic showing where each portion of a Johnson County property owner’s tax rate goes. Graphic via Johnson County Public Information Office

Why it matters: While Johnson County’s proposed budget for 2023 includes a tax rate decrease for the county’s share of annual property taxes, rising home valuations in Johnson County could mean the actual property taxes homeowners pay this coming year may still go up.

  • As the county and local cities prepare budgets for 2023, some of them may also include a rise in property taxes if municipalities exceed the revenue neutral rate.
    • The revenue neutral rate is defined in Kansas as the tax rate for the current tax year that would generate the same property tax revenue as levied the previous tax year using the current tax year’s total assessed valuation.
  • Following this month’s primary election, the Johnson County Commission candidates who will progress onto the general election on Nov. 8 have also advocated for various means of lowering property taxes.

What’s next: The county will host two hearings in August on the 2023 proposed budget and mill, or property tax, rates.

  • A hearing on the proposed budget for county government, Johnson County Library and the Johnson County Park and Recreation District will be Monday, Aug. 22, at 6 p.m., at the County Administration Building in downtown Olathe.
  • A hearing for the budget for Fire District No. 2 will be on Thursday, Aug. 25 at 9:30 a.m.
  • The county is set to formally adopt next year’s budget on Sept. 1.