Budget Frequently Asked Questions

What is the city budget?
The city’s budget is a management plan that details how valuable resources will be allocated to address community priorities and organizational objectives for the city of Olathe.  The budget which is adopted by the City Council must be balanced where revenues equal expenditures.

How much is the FY 2016 budget and the approved FY 2017 budget?
The total budget for the City in 2016 is $325,759,112 and the conditionally approved budget for 2017 is $335,750,196.

When was the FY 2016 budget adopted?
The State requires cities in Kansas to adopt the following year’s budget before August. The 2016 budget had to be submitted to the State before August 25, 2015, which means the City Manager presented the proposed budget to the Council in July. For a more details visit the Budget Planning page on the City’s Budget website. The FY 2017 budget process will follow a similar but condensed, timeline and will be available on the planning page.

What is the city's current property tax rate?
The city's property tax rate for 2015 is 24.701 mills. The different mill rates of cities within Johnson County can be found on the City’s Taxes and Fees page.

What is a mill?
One mill is equal to $1.00 of property taxes per $1,000 of taxable value. Taxable value is calculated by multiplying the appraised value of a property by the tax assessment rate for the type of property. Residential property is currently assessed at 11.5% of its appraised value; commercial property at 25%.

What is the difference between property taxes and ad valorem taxes?
There is no difference. They are different names for the same tax.

What is a fund balance?
A fund balance is the difference between assets and liabilities reported within a specific governmental fund.

What is the CIP?
The Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) is a financial plan for the construction of physical assets such as construction of new buildings, improvements to existing city facilities, constructing and improving roadways, and funding of projects which will be completed over a number of years. The CIP is done in five year increments. The 2016-2020 CIP total expenditures are $305,141,287.

What is the General Fund?
The City’s General Fund is the principal funding mechanism for general government operations such as Parks, Police and Fire. This fund supports all of the City’s operating departments. The principal revenue sources for this fund include sales tax, property tax, franchise fees, permits and licenses, fines and forfeitures, charges for service and intergovernmental payments. The total amount in the General Fund is approximately 28% of all funds combined, or $91,508,610 in 2016 and $96,360,462 in 2017. You can view all funds in the City’s Budget document under “Funds” within each budget document.

What is an Enterprise Fund?
An enterprise fund is used to account for the acquisition, operation and maintenance of governmental facilities and/or services which are predominantly self-supporting through user charges. Examples of Enterprise Funds are the City’s Storm Water Fund, Solid Waste Fund, and Water & Sewer Fund.

What is a fiscal year?
A fiscal year is a 12-month operating cycle that comprises a budget and financial reporting period. Fiscal years are different for governments.

  • The fiscal year for local governments in Kansas begins on January 1 and ends on December 31 in the same calendar year.
  • The fiscal year for the State Government of Kansas begins on July 1 and ends on the following June 30.
  • The fiscal year for the federal government starts on October 1 and ends on the following September 30.

What is the property tax used for in Olathe?
Your property tax dollars are used by the City for roads, parks, fire protection, law enforcement and many other local services. Property Tax dollars are also allocated to the Olathe school district and Olathe Public Library.

What is the City’s sales tax rate?
The total sales tax rate for all sales within the City is 9.225%, as of July 1st, 2015. This rate is made up of three different sales tax rates. They are:

  • State of Kansas - 6.50%
  • Johnson County - 1.225%
  • City of Olathe - 1.5%

In certain new development areas of the City, there is an additional sales tax for Transportation Development Districts (TDD) and Community Improvement Districts (CID).

How will I know when my sales tax rate changes?
Local businesses registered with the state of Kansas and paying sales tax should receive an official notification from the Department of Revenue at the time of any sales tax rate change.

What are user charges?
User charges are fees paid to the City for certain services or uses. These charges could be utilities charges, such as recycling fees or garbage fees, or ticket sales from Parks and Recreation activities.

How many employees work for the City?
The FY 2016 budget has a budgeted workforce of 889.25 total employees. Appendix E of the City’s 2016 Adopted Budget is a Personnel Summary of all City employees.

What is an FTE?
The total scheduled work hours of city employees divided by the total work hours available annually provides the number of FTE (full-time equivalent) employees. A full-time employee working 40 hours per week equals one FTE where a part-time employee working 20 hours per week equals 0.5 FTE.

How can I get a copy of the City Budget?
A copy of the FY 2016/2017 budget along with past budgets is available for review and download at Operating Budgets.

How do I contact the Budget Office?
The Budget Office is a division of the Resource Management Department.  Submit a request in OlatheConnect or call 913-971-8671 for more information.