Mill Levy Increases Taxes For Newton, Harvey County Residents

By: Alicia Myers Email
By: Alicia Myers Email

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Some Kansas residents are facing a double-whammy, when it comes to their property taxes.

Harvey county residents are being asked to pay more, on top of what other municipalities like Newton have already asked for.

Both entities are raising their mill levies to balance their budgets.

Cities all across America are having to do the same thing, as they tighten their belts to balance their budgets.

"It costs to run organizations like this," said John Waltner, Harvey County administrator.

In a down economy, those costs are greater. The returns are less.

"We simply don't have fund balances any longer to spend, so, we can't go to that well," said Waltner.

Without cutting important programs, Harvey county was forced to look at raising its levy by 2.5 mills.

The city of Newton did the same a few weeks ago, raising its levy by 1.6 mills.

What does that mean for the average tax payer in Harvey county?

One mill equals $1 for every $1,000 your home is appraised for.

If you live in a $100,000 home, one mill equals about $11.5. With an increase of a little more than 4 mills, you would now be paying about $45 more.

Not a large amount, but for those on a budget, every little bit counts.

"For an average person, it's hard to make it anymore with the price of everything that's going on up, especially for the elderly and the single people," said Cindy Miller, Newton.

Businesses will see the increase as well, but not everyone thinks it is a bad move.

"I think it's a step in the right direction, especially with our new industries coming to town," said Phil Anderson, owner of Andersons.

That direction may be a few years away, but officials say it will be worth it.

"The payback for that is somewhere down the road," said Waltner.

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