The commissioners and clerks of Jewell, Mitchell, Osborne and Smith Counties gathered at the Jewell County Courthouse in Mankato on Monday for their quarterly multi-county meeting. Also present was Sherry Koster who serves as sanitarian for the multiple counties and others. Anna Porter, Jewell County Appraiser, was also on hand.
Porter discussed her time working for the Kansas Department of Revenue. She distributed appraisal information for the four counties including comparison of real estate values between the counties. She explained how the base for how property taxes are assessed with personal property taxed at 5%, residential real estate at 11.5% and commercial real estate at 25%.
Statewide, real estate consists of 90% of all property while utility and personal property make up the other 10%. She also provided a comparison between the four counties in terms of real estate appraised values. Mitchell County was topped by residential appraisals at 41% of their total taxed property by value, ag was second at 22%. In Osborne County ag led at 44% with residential following at 34%. In Smith County ag is 46% followed by residential at 25%. Jewell County is dominated by ag at 60% with residential a distant second at 19%.
Sanitarian Sherry Koster present a profit and loss statement for January 2013 through December of 2016. She also presented statements for all of 2016. Six counties share Koster as their sanitarian. In total, the six counties have shared 188,796 in expenses for sanitarian services during that four year period.
In other business, a question about the property tax lid set to take effect next year was posed. It was asked if that regulation is ongoing or if it was only for a certain term on the taxing limitations. There was no consensus on the answer, and further research determined it is ongoing.
Courthouse restoration projects were discussed as well. Mitchell County is getting assistance from the Kansas Historical Society to upgrade the exterior of their courthouse. Whereas Osborne County was unable to sway the KHS to assist them with a matching grant for repairs to the Osborne County Courthouse as their issues were on the interior of the building. The money available from the KHS is for external repairs and improvements.