Data from the 2014 edition of the Kansas Tax Rate & Fiscal Data Book published by the League of Kansas Municipalities paint a rosy picture of Prairie Village for fiscal hawks.
Among the 25 cities in Kansas categorized as Cities of the First Class, Prairie Village has the second-lowest level of bonded indebtedness, the second-lowest city property tax rate, and the second-lowest overall property tax rate in the state.
Prairie Village, with a population of around 22,000, carries $7,220,000 in bond debt, the bulk of which was incurred at the height of the Great Recession to take advantage of low borrowing rates. Among Cities of the First Class, only Liberal, population 21,000, carried less bond debt with $7,205,000. Other Johnson County Cities of the First Class carry substantially higher debt loads: Leawood, population 32,539, carries $56,435,000 in debt; Lenexa, population 49,398, carries $56,435,000 in bond debt; and Shawnee, population 63,622, carries $73,670,000 in bond debt. For another point of comparison, Junction City, Kan., population 25,817, carries $131,952,627 in bond debt.
Prairie Village’s tax rate also stacks up favorably to the other Cities of the First Class. With the city’s portion of the total property tax rate at 19.49 mills and the total property tax rate as 120.40 mills, only Overland Park residents have a lower property tax burden (12.83 mills for the city’s portion of the total property tax rate, and a total property tax rate of 113.71).
Tomorrow we’ll publish tax and debt information for the cities of the second class in northeast Johnson County.