Paola City Hall

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Paola City Hall

PAOLA — The city of Paola’s proposed 2020 budget includes a decrease in the mill levy, which is the rate in which property taxes are collected.

If the proposed budget is approved, the city’s mill levy would drop by exactly one mill from 45.802 to 44.802.

Whether or not a homeowner actually sees a decrease in their property taxes will depend on how their assessed valuation changed. Other taxing entities, such as school districts and the county, also have mill levies that play a role in a homeowner’s property tax rate. Miami County and Paola USD 368 both have proposed budgets with mill levy decreases.

Even with the lower rate, the city of Paola is expected to generate more tax revenue thanks to an increase in assessed valuation of about 6.3 percent.

During a special meeting Tuesday, July 23, Paola City Council members agreed to publish the proposed 2020 budget and schedule a public hearing to take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 13, during the regular monthly Paola City Council meeting at the Paola Justice Center, located at 805 N. Pearl St.

Community members are invited to attend the public hearing and comment on the budget.

One of the biggest budget question marks is the future of the Paola Family Pool fund, which previously was built up using half-cent sales tax revenue but has almost entirely been depleted (see related swimming pool story in the Aug. 7 edition of the Republic).

City Manager Jay Wieland also asked council members to include a water rate increase of 1 cent per 100 gallons effective Sept. 1, 2019, to help rebuild the water fund and cover the cost of upcoming needed improvement projects.

The change would equate to about a 60-cent increase in the monthly water bill for the average resident using 6,000 gallons.

It’s one of the few fee increases included in the proposed budget.

“We tried to stay as status quo as much as we could with this budget,” Wieland said.

Editor and Publisher Brian McCauley can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or brian.mccauley@miconews.com.

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