To the editor:

This letter covers the city of Leavenworth residential property and sales taxes except for Community Improvement District sales taxes.

In 2014, Leavenworth residents voted for Ordinance No. 7933 to raise our sales tax 1 percent for “… the purpose of reducing property tax” with no ending date. That reminds one of current state legislators who passed SB30 to raise our state income tax to 5.7 percent for 2018 and thereafter. Would you agree those are longtime tax raises?

Our Leavenworth sales tax of 9.5 percent is the second highest of nine incorporated cities in this area of Kansas. Of that amount, 2 percent goes to the city. The county, which collects 1 percent of the 9 percent, routes a portion of its 1 percent back to each of the cities in the county, per a state statute formula.

After a Kansas residence has an appraised market value, that amount is reduced to an assessed value at a percentage set by law which is 11.5 percent. City Manager Paul Kramer provided the following information. 

“Mill levies are not related to these tax percentages. They are applied to the percentage in the real property tax calculation. The city collects about $36 tax per $10,000 of valuation on residential property. On a $200,000 assessed value home, it would be in the $725 range total for the city’s portion – some of which goes to the library. One might be paying 133.5 mills, but only 31 mills goes to the city, the remainder goes to the state, county and school district.”

Kramer says that city government does not run social service programs such as the abused women shelter, homeless or needy children. However, federal grant funds are passed along to some agencies.

“The Animal Control Facility has a 2017 budget of $313,042 plus $258,000 for the debt service on the Animal Control building. This is about 2 percent of the total city budget,” Kramer said.

The next letter will cover two additional taxes collected by the city of Leavenworth: utilities and the projected stormwater drainage system repair.