A bill in the Kansas House could raise the state’s portion of the mill levy factored into ad valorem taxes — also known as property taxes — by 2017.
Riley County treasurer Shilo Heger told county commissioners Thursday morning the bill — Kansas House Bill 2569 — proposes to increase the state’s mill levy from 1 mills to 5.5 mills.
A mill is $1 in tax for every $1,000 in assessed, taxable property value.
The increase hopes to increase money for the state’s educational building fund and was introduced on Jan. 28 by the Committee on Vision 2020, of which Clay Center Rep. Susie Swanson is a member.
Commissioner Ron Wells thought it was interesting such a bill would exist at the same time the state has imposed a property tax lid on county and city governments that many contend is designed to encourage local leaders to keep their mill levies flat. Otherwise, a raise in those mill levies would have to face a public vote.
The state has no known restrictions on itself for its mill levy management.
“Scary thought,” Wells said.
Swanson told KMAN via telephone that she sees merit in the bill, but said there are problems with its “practicality” considering the tax lid, which could go into effect as early this year.
“That’s going to be problematic,” she said.
Swanson said there was a hearing on the bill on Feb. 4 and said there doesn’t seem to be much traction.
Heger also reported a balance of $13.2 million in the county’s general fund as of Jan. 31. She said that’s down $230,000 compared to this time last year.
Sales tax revenues are also down.
Heger reported that January 2016 sales tax is down 4.49 percent compared to January 2015 and down 6.99 percent compared to December 2015.
In other items, commissioners approved a letter of intent to renew the Healthy Families Grant for the Riley County Health Department.