Property Taxes To Drop In Sumner County

By: Phil White Email
By: Phil White Email

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UPDATE: Friday, August 17, 2012

You won't see them in television commercials, but property owners are the latest big winners at the Kansas Star Casino.

That's because county commissioners this week adopted a budget 2013 budget that calls for a 27 percent reduction in the county's property tax mill levy. It's the county's share of casino revenue that is allowing commissioners to make the move.

Sumner County is receiving about $150,000 in revenue each month from the Kansas Star Casino. That money, combined with property taxes the county is collecting from the casino, has allowed county leaders to give everybody else a break.

"We thought this was the best way we could try to jump-start the economy is sharing it with everybody in the county," said County Commissioner Jim Newell.

He says this is something he has wanted to see happen for a long time.

"We've always wanted to find some way to try to reduce our property taxes and this has finally done it," Newell said.

Sumner County's mill levy reduction will save property owners quite a bit of money. For example, the taxes on a $100,000 home will go down about $200 per year.

The move is good for business, too. Sumner County Economic Development Commission Executive Director Janis Hellard said the tax cut should help her attract new businesses to the county.

"It's one of the things that site-seekers look for as to where they might want to locate," Hellard said. "Of course, the tax structure is a big issue."

"We have some empty buildings in town -- commercial buildings -- that have been tough to get a little interest in," said Wellington developer Bryon Miller. "But, by lowering the taxes, it should make those a lot more attractive to outside businesses."

Miller says the reduction in the mill levy is a move that will be good for everybody in his hometown.

"It doesn't matter whether you're in the rental business or whether you are in the development business or whether you're selling groceries, it'll be good for the whole community because it just puts more money into everybody's pocket," he said.

Renters should benefit, too.

"Hopefully, it'll help the landlords and they can either upgrade their properties or lower the rent; pass that on," Miller said.

Hellard, the Economic Development Commission Director, said the county is already on the way to bringing in new business.

"We are already in talks with a couple of developers to put some things in around the casino as it moves forward," she said. "We're very excited for their growth."

In addition to reducing the property tax mill levy, county commissioners were able to boost the budgets of several county departments. The 2013 budget includes extra money to fix roads and bridges as well as funds to allow the sheriff's office to expand.

The city of Mulvane is also using its share of casino revenue to upgrade infrastructure and reduce property taxes.

The mill levy in that city will go down 10 percent in 2013. City Manager Kent Hixon tells KAKE News people who live on the Sumner County side of Mulvane will now pay about the same in property taxes that those in Sedgwick County pay.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Sumner County residents will see a decrease in property taxes next year after commissioners approved the 2013 budget.

Commissioners credit a 27-percent drop in property taxes due to gaming revenue from the Kansas Star Casino. The county receives about 1 percent of gaming revenue from the casino.

Steve Narner, county commissioner, said casino revenues reduced the mill levy in the county by about 15 mills, down to 17.2.

Leaders expect taxes to drop about $200 per year on a $100,000 home.

Commissioners said the addition of the Kansas Star Casino has also made a dramatic increase in the amount of property tax revenue collected by the county.

The casino, located in Mulvane, is in its second phase of development. A permanent casino is scheduled to open by the end of the year. The final phase of expansion will include a permanent gaming area, as well as a hotel and space for restaurants and bars.

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