Several public entities moved forward with their budget processes in July, including Finney County, Garden City Community College and Garden City USD 457, which will consider their budgets for approval in August, and the City of Garden City, which approved its budget earlier this month.


Finney County

The Finney County Commission approved its 2020 budget for publication earlier this month. The $23,955,924 budget would have a 48.492 mill levy, about 0.817 mills higher than 2019.

The total estimated valuation is $499,019,669, or more than $7.6 million higher than the 2019 valuation. At the proposed rate, the owner of a $150,000 home in Finney County would pay about $836 in property taxes.

The commission will hold a public hearing at 8:40 a.m. Aug. 19 before considering the budget for approval.


City of Garden City

The Garden City Commission held a public hearing on July 16 before approving its 2020 budget, though no community members spoke. The commission unanimously approved the budget.

The city’s budget set expenditures at $123,336,435, ad valorem tax at $8,156,601 and the mill levy at 38.566, or 1.09 mills up from this year. With a 37.98 mill levy in 2009, finance director Melinda Hitz said the city saw a .58 mill increase over 12 years.

“I think the city commissions past and present have done a very good job holding expenditures for the city,” Hitz said.

At the proposed rate, the owner of a $150,000 home in Finney County would pay about $665.26 in property taxes.


Garden City Community College

The GCCC Board of Trustees approved the college’s 2019-20 budget for publication on July 16. The budget has a $10,173,241 general fund and a $4498,608 capital outlay fund.

The board considered three options regarding the general fund mill levy and reserves. The first option would cover a gap in funding with reserve funds, the second would do so by increasing the mill levy to 21.121, and the third would increase the mill levy to 20.747 as well as use reserves. The board chose the first option in a 4-2 vote, keeping the mill levy flat at 19.983 for the general fund.

The option will diminish reserves from the estimated 20.18% carryover to an estimated 18.07%.

The board will consider the budget for approval at a later date.


Garden City USD 457

USD 457 financial officer KJ Knoll presented an overview of the district’s 2019-20 budget to the Board of Education last week, kicking off several weeks of questions, review and public input before the board will consider the document for approval later this year.

At the moment, the budget has a general fund of about $55 million, a $2.3 million increase from the year before, Knoll told the board, the bump a result of increased state funding.

“We had anticipated this. Nothing has really changed,” Knoll told the board.

The local option budget will be about $16.8 million, roughly the same as this year and the year before, Knoll said. Because of an increase in real property values and a decrease in some state property values, the district’s assessed valuation will drop about half a million dollars from 2018, coming out as $369,161,834, she said.

Regardless, the district should be able to generate the same amount of money in the local option budget without raising the total mill levy, by increasing the local option mills and decreasing the bond and interest mills in equal amounts, Knoll said. The proposed mill levy is 48.80, the same rate it has been since the 2016-17 school year.

At the proposed rate, the owner of a $150,000 home in Finney County would pay about $841.80 in property taxes.

The board will discuss the budget and consider approving it to be published on Monday and hold a public hearing on Aug. 19 before considering it for final approval.


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