Government leaders sounded cautionary notes this morning after receiving estimates from Douglas County Appraiser Marion Johnson that property tax values likely will grow much slower than normal in 2007.
"I think we're going to have to wait on a lot of things," Lawrence Public Schools Supt. Randy Weseman said at a joint study session of city and county commissioners and school board members. "I think we're going to have to make do with what we have."
Johnson provided estimates that showed the overall assessed value - the amount of taxable property in the county - likely will grow by 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent this year. That's down significantly from past years when valuation increases have been between 5.5 percent to 9 percent. The values are important to local governments because they show how much new money they can generate from property taxes without raising the mill levy.
"I think the growth in the property tax is going to cover inflation and little else," County Administrator Craig Weinaug told elected leaders.
Members of the three governing bodies also used the meeting to go over lists of possible major projects that the they may seek to undertake in the next couple of years.
For more on the story, see 6News at 6 p.m. tonight and tomorrow's Journal-World.