To Comply With New State Law, Lawrence City Commission Plans To Exceed “No Income Impact” Tax Rate | News, Sports, Jobs

photo by: Mike Yoder

Lawrence City Hall, 6 E. Sixth St., is pictured Thursday July 7, 2016.

To meet the demands of a new state law, leaders in the city of Lawrence will soon consider taking the first step towards a 2022 budget that, while it does not increase the city’s property tax rate. city, would force residents to pay more taxes than before. year.

As part of its Tuesday meeting, the City of Lawrence Commission will consider setting a date for a new public hearing required for the “no revenue” rate overrun. Although the budget recommended by City Manager Craig Owens calls for the city’s property tax rate to remain stable, the city’s property tax collections would still increase under the proposal as property tax assessments of the county have increased.

The Kansas legislature passed the new law in March. It requires governing bodies to notify their taxpayers and hold a public hearing if city leaders envision a budget with an increase in the property tax rate or a lump sum property tax rate that forces homeowners to pay more taxes by due to an increase in assessed property. value. Supporters said it would force local officials to be more open in making tax and budget decisions, as the Associated Press reported.

Under the law, Senate Bill 13, governing bodies must hold a public hearing on the intention to exceed the revenue neutrality rate. Once the city notifies the county clerk of its intention to exceed the rate, which must be done no later than July 20, the mill levy rate can be reduced but cannot be increased, according to a note. from city staff to the commission. At the public hearing, local leaders must vote publicly on whether to exceed the rate.

The city’s current property tax rate is 33,318 miles, and due to the increase in the property tax assessment, the rate would need to be reduced to 32,515 miles to be budget neutral, according to the note. The rate difference of about $ 0.8 million would adjust to the roughly $ 937,000 in additional tax payments the city would receive under a flat rate due to increased property assessments.

City staff recommend that the commission keep the property tax rate at the same level and hold the public budget hearing and hearing on the intention to exceed the rate with no revenue impact on August 31.

The recommended budget is $ 383.87 million for all funds and calls for tariff increases for the city’s three utilities. It includes a new division to fight homelessness; over $ 117 million in infrastructure and maintenance funding; $ 5 million for increases in non-unionized employees; nearly $ 2 million in pay increases for the city’s three groups of unionized employees; and eight new positions, four of which are funded at least initially by federal or state grants. The budget is also starting to allocate the roughly $ 19 million in federal coronavirus relief the city will receive from the American Rescue Plan Act.

The Town of Lawrence Commission will meet at 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday at Town Hall, 6 E. Sixth St. Residents who wish to comment from the public may do so in person at Town Hall, in writing or virtually. via Zoom, and more information on these options is available on the city’s website,

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