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  • lefelter

Property Taxes & My Track Record

I'm running for Mayor of Olathe, and I have a track record of cutting property taxes throughout my 12 years of service on the Olathe Public Schools board of education from 2011-2023.

The Olathe Board of Education has worked diligently to be efficient and effective stewards of your tax dollars, while continuing to provide an education that empowers all students with the skills and knowledge necessary to be prepared for their future. It was my great honor to serve on the Olathe School Board until just a few months ago, from 2011-March 2023. If you look at the chart (above), it reflects the local mill levies for Olathe Public Schools and their historical trends over time.

Things You Should Know

  1. The school district mill levy was lowered over my time on the school board, with the exception of the 2017-2018* school year (see explanation for need below), and today's mill levy rate is well below the 2010-2011 rate when I first joined the school board. It is important to me that your property taxes remain low.

  2. The Board of Education and district leadership have developed a budget that aligns our finances with educational goals so that all our students can achieve success. School districts rely on a state funding formula. Kansas’ funding for schools comes from property taxes, with the caveat that much of those tax dollars go to the state first. Adding in other sources of tax revenue, the state then distributes funding to districts at a set rate per student. Unlike municipalities (only 20% of the General Fund for the City of Olathe is from property for another post on that soon), school districts must primarily rely on property taxes. Not all property taxes go directly to the state, though, since districts may levy their own local taxes for items such as capital projects through a local option budget.

  3. Olathe Public Schools has great budget reports that you can view here:

*Slight uptick in 2017-2018 school year necessary this was the time when the state ended the block grants and returned equalization of funding to the LOB which increased our potential legal maximum budget, as long as we utilized our full LOB authority. LOB went up 3.8 mills. At the same time, we opened Olathe West High School, which allowed us to levy more BOTA (3.4 mills). We lowered Bond and Interest, Cost of Living and Special Assessment levies to bring the overall levy down to a 5.0 increase. The main reason we had to do this is we had cut budgets and were frozen under Block Grants for several years and needed to climb out and pay teachers. We quickly began to decrease the overall mill levy and got back down.


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