Tax cuts made by local school boards will bring about a slight decrease next year in the total property tax mill levy assessed to most homes in Topeka.
Next year’s anticipated property tax bill is $1,825.09 — down $6.21 from $1,831.30 this year — for the owner of a $100,000 home who lives in Topeka USD 501, provided that property’s appraisal value stays the same.
But property taxes will rise for any homeowner who saw any increase this year in property valuation, even if only by 1%.
Valuations rose this year for about 80% of properties in Shawnee County, increasing on average by 4% for residential properties, county appraiser Steve Bauman announced in February.
Calculations conducted by The Topeka Capital-Journal indicate 2021 property taxes are anticipated to be $1,898.09, compared to $1,831.30 this year, for the owner of a $100,000 home in Topeka USD 501 who sees its valuation rise by 4%.
Topekans pay a total property tax bill that includes levies assessed by government entities that include the State of Kansas, the City of Topeka, Shawnee County, Washburn University, public school districts and local transit, library and airport authorities. Levy rates won’t be finalized until property valuations are finalized in November.
The Capital-Journal this past week contacted representatives of taxing entities to confirm their anticipated property tax mill levy amounts for 2020.
The newspaper found that next year’s property tax bill for a $100,000 house in Topeka is anticipated to consist of charges totaling:
• $574.57, down $6.90 from $581.47 this year, for USD 501, which reduced its anticipated levy to 49.963 mills from 50.563.
• $23.35, down 8 cents from $23.43 this year, for the Metropolitan Topeka Airport Authority, which reduced its anticipated levy to 2.03 mills from 2.037.
• $456.90, the same amount as this year, to go to the City of Topeka, which adopted a budget aimed at keeping the mill levy at its current level of 39.73.
• $554.23, the same as this year, to go to Shawnee County, which adopted a budget aimed at keeping the mill levy at its current level of 48.194.
• $48.30, the same as this year, for the Topeka Metropolitan Transit Authority, which will continue to assess a levy of 4.2 mills.
• $17.25, the same as this year, for the State of Kansas, which will continue to assess a levy of 1.5 mills.
• $112.54, the same as this year, for the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library Board, which adopted a budget aimed at keeping the levy at 9.786 mills.
• $37.95, up 77 cents from $37.18 this year, to go to Washburn University, which increased its anticipated levy to 3.3 mills from 3.233. Those calculations reflect this year’s collected levy and next year’s budgeted levy, said university spokesman Patrick Early. He said next year’s actual mill levy collections are expected to be slightly lower than the budgeted amount.
While most Topekans live in USD 501, others in outlying areas of the city may instead pay taxes to Seaman USD 345, Auburn-Washburn USD 437 or Shawnee Heights USD 450, all of which lowered their levy for 2021.
The owner of a $100,000 home in those districts is anticipated to pay school taxes totaling:
• $585.24, down 15 cents from $585.37 this year, in USD 345, which reduced its anticipated levy to 50.89 mills from 50.902.
• $575.56, down $1.04 from $576.60 this year, in USD 437, which lowered its anticipated levy to 50.049 mills from 50.139.
• $600.04, down $5.17 from $605.21 this year, in USD 450, which lowered its anticipated levy to 52.177 mills from 52.627.
Outside Topeka in Shawnee County, residents of the smaller cities of Rossville, Silver Lake, Auburn and Willard pay most of the other levies plus a levy to their municipal governments.
Residents of the townships in Shawnee County’s unincorporated areas don’t pay a tax to any city, but they do pay most of the other levies, plus a levy to the township.