Leawood approves $99.6M budget and exceeds ‘revenue-neutral’ tax rate

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Despite a lower tax levy, Leawood residents will pay higher property taxes in 2024.

The Leawood City Council on Tuesday night gave final approval to the city’s $99.6 million budget for 2024 — in addition to its $129 million Capital Improvement Program for 2024 through 2028.

The city also approved a decrease to its mill levy (or property tax rate) — although the city still plans to take in more revenue than it did this year.

Leawood 2024 budget
Leawood City Hall. File photo.

Property taxes are going up

  • The 2024 budget includes a property tax rate — or mill levy rate — of 23.5 mills.
  • This represents a 0.577-mill decrease in the tax rate for 2023, which the city has not deliberately reduced in 10 years.
  • However, even with the decrease, rising countywide property values mean the city will still take in more in property taxes than it did in 2023 — thereby exceeding the revenue neutral rate as laid out by state law.
  • Leawood has not increased its property tax rate since 2003, but it is one of several Johnson County cities expected to exceed the revenue neutral rate this year without doing so.

What do “mills” actually mean?
• 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 for that jurisdiction’s share of your annual tax bill.

Calculate what Leawood homeowners will pay to the city

  • Residents can estimate their share of taxes owed the city of Leawood by multiplying the assessed value of their home by the mill levy rate and then dividing that by 1,000.
  • The average appraised value (or fair market value) of a Leawood home is $757,381. The assessed value for an average Leawood home is 11.5% of the appraised value, coming to about $87,098.
  • If you multiply $87,098 by Leawood’s mill levy of 23.5, and then divide that by 1,000, then the average Leawood homeowner will pay $171 monthly in 2024 property taxes to the city or about $2,047 annually.
  • To compare that to 2023, an average Leawood homeowner owed roughly $153 monthly in property taxes this year, adding up to roughly $1,836 for the whole year.
  • This makes a difference of $18 monthly and $211 annually for the average Leawood homeowner.

The budget went up by $10.8 million this year

  • At $99.6 million, Leawood’s 2024 shows a 12.1% increase from the city’s $66.1 million budget for 2023.
  • The city’s total revenues for 2024 are projected to be $80.9 million, which shows a 4.9% increase from what the city collected in 2023.
  • Out of that total, 43% is expected to come from property taxes, and 32% will come from sales taxes
  • Another 25% is expected to come from other sources like charges for services and license and permitting fees.

City staff says inflation drove the increases

  • City staff says the 12.1% jump from the 2023 budget to this new one is driven largely by inflation.
  • Inflation has driven a number of costs upward, from construction and wage costs to utility costs.
  • For example, a report from the city’s financial department shows a 6.2% increase in electricity costs over the past year.

 A brief overview of Leawood’s budget

Leawood’s $99.6 million in projected spending for 2024 will be divided up in the following way:

  • 33% goes toward public works
  • 15% goes toward parks and recreation
  • 15% goes toward the police department
  • 11% goes toward the fire department
  • 10% goes toward administration costs
  • 8% goes toward debt service
  • 8% goes toward general operations

Key items include personnel changes and road projects

  • The budget includes a 19.2% increase for personnel services — totaling $38.1 this year.
  • This increase will go toward several factors, such as $2 million for compensation adjustments, and another $645,000 for five new full-time employees and one new intern position.
  • Another $75,000 is set aside for the first phase of a three-year plan to upgrade all of the city’s trail signs — which will eventually cost the city $200,000.
  • As far as capital projects, some of the items included in the city’s 2024-2028 capital improvement plan are $19 million for improvements along a southern stretch of Mission Road, $9 million for a new fire station, and $4.1 million for ongoing residential street fixes.

Go deeper: Find more information about Leawood’s 2024 budget here.

About the author

Lucie Krisman
Lucie Krisman

Hi! I’m Lucie Krisman, and I cover local business for the Johnson County Post.

I’m a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, but have been living in Kansas since I moved here to attend KU, where I earned my degree in journalism. Prior to joining the Post, I did work for The Pitch, the Eudora Times, the North Dakota Newspaper Association and KTUL in Tulsa.