The Johnson County, Kan. Commission today began work on a proposed budget for fiscal 2013. The initial spending plan totals nearly $811 million and holds the line on property taxes.
Estimated mill levy remains at 23.118, so county government taxes on a $200,000 house would stay at $533 a year.
The proposal from County Manager Hannes Zacharias notes it marks the penultimate year of the County’s planned five-year stretch of significant budget cuts, now projected to total about $50 million.
Zacharias' message includes some history.
"In late 2008, the County made tough decisions in order to change the course of an organization long accustomed to growth," he said. At the time, salaries were frozen and an expanded budget workup was put in place.
The focus moved to two years of projected budget cuts in every year of planning.
Budget director Scott Neufeld said there are pay increases for county employees, telling County Commissioners, “We’ve talked about the merit pool. And we’ve proposed a 2.5 percent increase in the proposed budget.”
It would rise to 3 percent for step increases for some civilian sheriffs’ department employees.
The entire plan is subject to revision and there will be a series of public hearings before it’s adopted.