By ROD ZOOK
HUTCHINSON, Kan. — The assessed valuation for Reno County increased by 4.5% from last year. The total assessed valuation for the county was $641,278,910.
County Clerk Donna Patton says sharp increases in the valuation of utilities was most of the driving force behind the increase. A new pipeline was constructed through the county last year and added $11 million into the equation.
The city of Hutchinson had an assessed value for the year at $318,456,540. With the new law forcing government entities to stay revenue neutral, the mill levy for the county would be 39.967 mills. Currently, the county mill levy is 41.599. The city faces the same scenario with the current mill levy at 44.462. To stay revenue neutral, the mill levy would have to fall to 43.588 mills. With the new law, anything above revenue neutral will force government entities to disclose the increase and provide public notice to all patrons, publish the notice and hold a public hearing.
With constant increases in benefits and other things beyond city and county government control, how they deal with this first budget under the new law remains to be seen. The county is already in the middle of its budget process along with the city, which holds its next budget meeting June 17.