Public Hearing - Revenue Neutral Rate (RNR) and Budget Hearing
The 2023 Revenue Neutral Rate (RNR) and Budget Hearing will take place at 7:00 p.m. on September 12, 2022, in the Community Room at Westwood City Hall - 4700 Rainbow Boulevard, Westwood, Kansas. The Proposed Tax Rate is 26.602 mills, and the RNR Rate is 25.121 mills.
WHAT IS A REVENUE NEUTRAL RATE?
The revenue neutral rate is the mill levy rate (tax rate) that would generate the same amount of property tax revenue as the year before using the current year’s assessed valuation.
OVERVIEW OF LEGISLATION
The Kansas Legislature passed Senate Bill 13 to increase transparency around municipal revenues. This new legislation requires that if a taxing jurisdiction (the County, City, school district or other special districts) wants to exceed the revenue neutral rate, then a special public hearing must be called to allow citizens the chance to speak specifically on the intent to exceed the revenue neutral rate. The Governing Body must take a roll call vote to exceed the revenue neutral rate. The mill rate is what determines a City's yearly revenue and budget.
Being revenue neutral means a taxing jurisdiction budgets the exact same amount of property tax revenue, in dollars, for the upcoming budget year as they did for the current year.
For example, If a city budgets for the use of $1 million of property tax revenue in 2022, being revenue neutral means a city should budget to use the same $1 million in 2023 as well; unless otherwise approved during a public hearing and roll call vote.
CALCULATION OF REVENUE-NEUTRAL RATE
Based on current assessed property values and the 2023 budget, Westwood Hills will exceed the revenue neutral rate for 2023 taxes. Therefore, the City plans to hold a public hearing on September 12, 2022, at Westwood City Hall at 7 pm. The Council is currently planning to keep the current mill rate but is proposing to keep it over the revenue neutral rate to ensure that the City is able to continue to fund services and capital projects.
The 2023 Mill Rate is a currently planned estimate subject to final approval at the September 12th Budget Adoption Meeting.
A revenue neutral philosophy as defined by the Kansas State Legislature does not take into account inflation and increasing cost of service. The City is proposing to increase property tax revenue to provide the same level of service as the year before.
To provide residents with the same (or better) level of service, it costs more. Westwood Hills is proposing to "exceed revenue neutral" and use the increase in revenue to help pay for increasing (due to inflation) costs for infrastructure replacements (capital improvements), public safety services, administrative services, and City maintenance
If the City were to stay revenue neutral every year, services and capital improvement would both have to be reduced because the cost of both go up annually. With no growth in revenue, there is no offset for ever-increasing costs due to inflation.
Click here to view the 2023 Proposed Budget