Lawrence homeowners stand to save enough in 1992 property taxes to buy a VCR, a new suit, or 240 lottery tickets, under preliminary total mill levy figures.
Under proposed tax rates from Lawrence, Douglas County, and the Lawrence school district, residents will pay a total of 108.78 mills for 1992 taxes.
A mill is $1 in property tax for every $1,000 in assessed property valuations. Since homes in Kansas are assessed at 12 percent of their value for tax purposes, the owner of a home valued at $80,000 would pay about $1,044 in property taxes this year, about $240 less than in 1991.
The proposed levy which includes 1.5 mills for state university improvements is about 25 mills shy of the 1991 levy of 133.82 mills.
The sole drop came from the school district, which cut its current 77.04 mill levy to 48.28 mills. The drop happened because of a school finance reform package mandated by the Kansas Legislature that institutes a 32-mill statewide levy for funding public education. Local school districts were given the opportunity to raise additional mills with certain restrictions.
THE PROPOSED county levy of 30.832 is 3.718 mills higher than the current rate of 27.114 mills. City Manager Mike Wildgen held the line in his proposed 1993 budget, preserving the city's current 28.17 levy.
Taxing bodies based their proposed mill levies on preliminary assessed valuations of area property.
As of July 1, figures for Douglas County show assessed valuation to be $374,771,668, roughly $11.7 million more than 1991. The Lawrence school district shows a $9.7 million increase in assessed valuations, up to $325,109,865. The value of property in Lawrence rose $7.2 million to $271,528,529.
The county sets its final assessed valuations for 1992 taxes on Oct. 1. The county will compute the final mill levy using the Oct. 1 valuations.
If final valuations are higher than the figures on which taxing bodies based their mill levies, the levies could drop, said Darlene Hill, county budget director.
CHANCES OF a significant rise in valuations is slim, she said.
"When we received these values from the appraiser's office, they said they didn't think that personal property tax would grow too much because they had most of the valuations in already," Hill said.
Personal property includes house trailers, boats, tractor-trailer trucks, and recreation vehicles.
Valuations could drop, Hill said, due to appeals in assessed real estate values from property owners. A drop in assessed valuations could cause final mill levies to grow past proposed rates, Hill said.
To calculate a tax bill, Lawrence residents should multiply the assessed value of their home by 0.10878, the decimal equivalent of the total mill levy. That calculation will give the tax bill in dollars.
To compute the assessed value of a residential property, multiply the appraised value by 12 percent, the rate at which residential property is assessed.
For example, a home appraised at $80,000 would have an assessed value of $9,600. When the $9,600 is multiplied by the .10878 levy, the total bill is $1,044.28.