The governing bodies of Baldwin City and Eudora plan to either cut their property tax rates slightly for 2023 or keep them stable, but residents’ tax bills are expected to rise further due to rising property values.
These two Douglas County municipalities have released their 2023 budget proposals, and neither is maintaining the so-called “revenue-neutral rate” – the tax rate at which they would receive the same amount of tax. land than last year. . Indeed, historic increases in property values have occurred this year across the county, and Eudora and Baldwin City are no exception. The Douglas County Assessor’s Office found that the median home value in Baldwin City increased by 18.1% and the median value in Eudora increased by 13.2%.
State law requires governments to hold a special public hearing before passing a budget that is not revenue-neutral, and Eudora and Baldwin City will hold their public hearings and consider passing their budgets on next month.
In Baldwin City, City Administrator Glenn Rodden said the proposed budget maintains a tax rate of 44.7 mills, the same rate as in 2022 and the previous four years. This means that the owner of a $200,000 home would owe the city $1,028 in taxes.
Utility rates are not addressed in the proposed budget, although Baldwin City Council is considering increases at a later date, Rodden said. Four mills from the city’s property tax collections would go to support the Baldwin City Public Library.
According to the assessor’s office, the total value of all properties in Baldwin City increased by 11%, Rodden said. However, Baldwin City has a revitalization program, and if people who make improvements to their properties qualify for the program, they don’t have to pay property tax on those improvements. This means that for budgetary reasons, the increase in total property value in the city is more like 5%, which Rodden says is “typical for the city.”
Baldwin Town Mayor Casey Simoneau said the city council initially wanted to reduce the property tax rate, but now thinks that won’t happen. After a number of budget workshops with the city’s financial advisers, he said the council realized that the mill tax needed to remain stable to help the city deal with inflation.
“We’ve certainly seen our costs go up in an extreme way,” he said. “Based on the increase in our health insurance and employee costs, I think the board is in agreement with keeping the factory levy flat.”
Meanwhile, in Eudora, the proposed budget would reduce the city’s mill tax from its current 39.5 mills to 39 mills. At this rate, the city would collect $897 in taxes on a $200,000 home.
In a report to commissioners on the 2023 budget earlier this summer, City Manager Barack Matite wrote that overall property values in the city had increased by 15%. This means that the reduction of half a thousand is not enough to make budget revenue neutral.
Eudora Mayor Tim Reazin said he doesn’t think the commission would want to further reduce the property tax rate. Like Simoneau, he said the city needed to pay more for things like health insurance and employee salaries. Additionally, he said the city is trying to catch up on infrastructure improvements and may have to pay for further improvements when Panasonic builds its multi-billion dollar battery factory at the former munitions site. from the Sunflower Army to neighboring De Soto.
Matite said the 2023 budget would not increase the city’s electricity rates, but it does propose a 1.5% increase in water rates and a 7% increase in sewer rates.
The Baldwin City Council budget hearing will take place on Tuesday, September 6 and the Eudora City Commission budget hearing will take place on Monday, September 12.