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Archive for Wednesday, October 12, 1994

FINAL REAL ESTATE TAX RISES A COUPLE OF NOTCHES

October 12, 1994

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Douglas County residents will pay a bit more in real estate taxes this year.

The numbers are crunched, and Douglas County property owners now know how much they'll pay under the 1994 tax rates.

The county's property valuation has risen substantially, but bigger budgets -- particularly the Lawrence school district's -- have offset any savings from a larger tax base.

``You're getting my point now, aren't you?'' said Douglas County Commission Chairman Louie McElhaney, who has spearheaded several efforts to cut county overhead.

McElhaney noted that even though the city and county mill levies rose only slightly, higher property values in Douglas County also increased tax bills.

The bottom line: The owner of an $80,000 home will pay taxes of $1,098.77, an increase of $24.97 over the previous year's tax bill, provided the home's valuation was unchanged.

A total mill levy of 119.432 will be needed to fund the combined budgets of Douglas County, the city of Lawrence and the Lawrence school district, and a 1.5-mill assessment from the state. The total levy for 1993 was 116.717.

The county's final assessed valuation for 1994 is $430,877,496, up from $399,405,807 last year.

The Lawrence school district's levy rose 3.08 mills. Craig Fiegel, the district's division director of business and facilities, said two mills of that reflect an increase in the state's assessment to local districts. The rest of the increase comes from the local option budget and covers higher operating costs.

``We got no new money from the state but we got an increase of two mills (in the assessment) from them,'' Fiegel said.

Now that the mill levy has been set, taxpayers can figure the taxes they'll pay on local real estate. The first half will be due Dec. 20, with the balance paid by June 20.

Here's the formula: Multiply the value of your real estate by 11.5 percent, the assessment rate. That sum, divided by 1,000 and then multiplied by the mill levy, is the amount of tax due. Levies from townships and other taxing districts may alter the mill levy that applies to a piece of property.

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