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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
  • Sumner County relies more on gaming revenue, less on taxes

  • Sumner County Commissioners passed their budget Tuesday after a public hearing.
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  • The Casino is making a difference in Sumner County. The Sumner County Commission passed its budget Tuesday and will be lowering taxes by 2.8 mils. That is on the heels of a much larger decrease the previous year.
    “Our commissioners said from the beginning that money from gaming would be used to lower property taxes,” County Clerk Debra Norris said.
    While taxes were lowered expenses went up, but not all that much.  There are no new major projects or purchases planned and overall increases are mostly do to rising costs in general.
    “It’s pretty much status quo with what is going on,” Norris said.
    They held their public hearing on the budget Tuesday before passing the ordinance. No one attended the hearing to speak on the budget.
    Total budgeted expenses for all funds in 2014 are expected to be $23,481,822. In 2013 that figure was budgeted at $20,214,042. In 2012 the actual expenses were $18.2 million.
    The Road and Bridge fund had a large increase, budgeted at $5.9 million for 2014, up from $4.4 million in 2013 and 3.3 million in 2012.
    The General Fund increased to $7.6 million in 2014, from $6.6 million in 2013 and $6 million in 2012.
    Even as expenses have risen, the stream of income has managed to keep up and has changed some in recent years.
     Property values have increased, which brings in more money from the same tax rates. Even though tax rate will be lower, if property values go up, a home owners property tax could actually go up.
    Property valuation for the entire county has increased to an estimated $248 million from $205 million in 2013. The county is also getting around $2 million from the gaming industry, or Casino money.
    The combination of all that means the county is able lean less heavily on property taxes. The county is planning to get $9.8 million in revenue from property taxes in 2014, up from $8.7 in 2013 and $11 million the previous year.
     
     

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