Hodge letter to the Star – Property taxes are about to go up all over Johnson County

Printed in the Kansas City Star.

JoCo taxes, spending

Property taxes are about to go up all over Johnson County

Local politicians wouldn’t tell you this. And you won’t discover this tax increase through the mainstream media. While newsrooms are generally sympathetic to moral relativism, reporters do provide philosophical immunity to the perceived necessity of continual government growth, elevating the idea to the status of an absolute truth.

The county manager’s recommendation is one of “no mill levy increase;” the same goes for Johnson County Community College (with a 6.4 percent budget increase, though there will be only a 1.5 percent student increase). But because of rising property values, a constant mill levy will cause the average homeowner to pay 4.4 percent more in property taxes, a level higher than recent areawide inflation rates (3 percent in 2005, 2.3 percent in 2006).

Government has a spending problem and a taxing problem. Kansans deserve more than to have automatic government budget increases through rising property values.

Benjamin Hodge
Kansas state representative