Yesterday we took a look at the city of Prairie Village’s financial position relative to other Cities of the First Class in Kansas. Today we wanted to pass along information on the total bond debt, city mill levy and total mill levy of the other municipalities in northeast Johnson County from the 2014 Kansas Tax Rate & Fiscal Data Book from the League of Kansas Municipalities. All of these cities are categorized as Cities of the Second Class or Cities of the Third Class (see here for a definition of what constitutes each class).
A couple of caveats:
- Mill levy can be a confusing measure of total tax burden. Since the mill levy is based on property value, looking at the numbers without taking the average home value in a city into account can be deceptive. An average home in Fairway is around $340,000, while an average home in Roeland Park is around $160,000. So even though Fairway’s city mill levy is substantially lower than Roeland Park’s, the average Fairway property tax bill for city services ($550 using the figures above) would be higher than in Roeland Park ($464 using the figures above). You can see our overview of how the mill levy is used to calculate property taxes here.
- The mill levy doesn’t account for special fees — including things like Mission’s “driveway tax” — that are assessed in many cities to pay for items like stormwater infrastructure and solid waste removal.
- Since the data for the LKM publication was collected, Mission has retired a sizable portion of its bond debt.
|City||Total Bond Debt||Total City Mill Levy||Total Mill Levy in City|
|Mission Woods||No bond debt||12.08||113.00|
|Westwood||No bond debt||23.68||124.59|
|Westwood Hills||No bond debt||20.00||120.91|