The city's and county's property tax bite in 1992 will be smaller than previously estimated due to slight increases in property valuations.
But local property owners aren't yet able to compute their 1992 taxes because a vital piece of the property tax puzzle the value of property located within the Lawrence school district remains uncalculated.
Since August, when 1993 budgets were set by the county and city, the value of property in the county has increased $104,375 to $374,876,043, according to Darlene Hill, Douglas County budget director. At the same time, the city's valuation has increased $86,090 to $271,615,019.
The valuation increase will decrease the county's 1992 levy from the 29.934-mill estimate to 29.925 mills. The city of Lawrence's levy was decreased from 28.17 mills to 28.161 mills.
A mill is $1 of tax for every $1,000 in assessed property valuations.
In other words, the owner of an $80,000 house (which is assessed at 12 percent of value for property tax purposes) will pay $1.76 less than originally thought in city and county property taxes.
BUT BEFORE Lawrence residents know exactly what their total property tax bills will be this year, the county must receive valuation numbers for the Lawrence school district. Part of the district reaches into Jefferson County, and the valuation numbers from Jefferson County have not been finalized, Hill said.
"They're behind," Hill said. "We need the valuation that extends into Jefferson County it must be included to adjust the mill levy."
She said Douglas County had contacted Jefferson County several times to ask when the numbers would be ready.
"They're doing all they possibly can to get the information to Douglas County," Hill said.
If the valuation in the school district increases from the summer estimate, the school district's mill levy will decrease. Likewise, a decrease in valuation will increase the school levy.
THE SCHOOL district's valuation this summer was estimated at $326,740,629, which put its levy at 48.28 mills.
Mill levies for Baldwin and Eudora have been finalized. Baldwin's levy stands at 100.459 mills, including 44.587 mills for the Baldwin school district, the county's 29.925 mills, the city of Baldwin's 24.347 mills, 1.5 mills for the state and 0.100 mills for the Palmyra Township general assessment.
Eudora's levy came in at 85.662 mills. The levy includes 40 mills for the Eudora school district, 29.925 mills for the county, the city of Eudora's 12.147 mills, the state's 1.5 mills, 1.59 mills for the Eudora township library and 0.500 mills for the Eudora Township general assessment.
Lecompton's final mill levy, like Lawrence's, is not yet set. It is missing the valuation of property within its school district, which also goes into Jefferson County. Plus, Lecompton residents are part of the Northeast Library district, which reaches into Shawnee County, whose valuation numbers have not been reported.