The average property owner in Douglas County could afford to buy a medium pizza or a T-shirt to celebrate the reduction in 1993 county taxes, according to the budget Douglas County commissioners passed for publication Monday.
Based on the latest valuation figures, the rate property owners will pay on their 1993 tax bills to support the county budget is 29.855 mills.
That translates to a $12.61 reduction for the owner of an $80,000 home, for example. A mill is $1 of tax for every $1,000 of assessed valuation. The owner of an $80,000 home will pay $274.67 for the county's share of taxes. That compares to $287.28 in 1992, which was based on a levy of 29.925 mills.
The public may have its say about the 1994 budget at a public meeting scheduled Aug. 18. The meeting must be at least 10 days after the budget sees print in the Journal-World.
Commissioners will then consider final approval of the proposed total expenditure of $22.6 million.
"They can reduce it from that figure, but they cannot increase it," Darlene Hill, county budget director, said.
To keep the mill levy at or under last year's level, commissioners had to cut in some areas and finance some road projects. Law enforcement and juvenile detention received increases, while Valley View Care Home and the election fund saw obvious decreases.
Because the mill levy is tied to the county's total valuation, the 29.855 mills may go up or down when the final valuation is released in October, Hill said.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, commissioners will consider approving the printing of the 1993 tax bill and tax receipt mailers.
They also will discuss proposed cuts in the construction bid for the Northeast Kansas Regional Juvenile Detention Facility.
The commission meets at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the commission meeting room on the second floor of the county courthouse, 11th and Massachusetts.
At Monday's meeting, commissioners unanimously approved the following:
-- A contract with Retirement Management Co., which will lease Valley View Care Home for at least 18 months while building a new nursing home. RMC will make minor revisions before the commission chairman will sign the contract Friday.
-- A contract with a Lawrence architect for a study of a minimum security jail. The county will pay Glen, Livingood and Penzler, the architects, $7,500 for the planning study and $750 for each site that the company evaluates.
A judicial and law enforcement committee has recommended the county build a 50-bed minimum security jail to help ease crowding at the Douglas County Jail.
-- An appeal to the Kansas Department of Corrections for reconsideration of the 1994 grant for Douglas County Community Corrections. The department reduced DCCC's 1994 grant by $37,000. The local agency has asked for a reinstatement of $40,410. The funds would be used for outpatient substance abuse treatment, drug testing and supplies.
-- A contract with the Kansas Department of Transportation for inspection of the site where the county will build a wetland to replace wetlands in the path of the South Lawrence Trafficway.