• Last modified 2061 days ago (Dec. 31, 2013)


New year brings new, higher taxes

News editor

Changes in property tax rates in Marion County were mixed this year, with more cities and school districts having increases in taxes than decreases, and those that increased tended to change more than those that decreased.

Property taxes paid depend on three factors: a property’s appraised value and type and the tax rate. A property’s value is calculated by the county appraiser’s office based on state rules, and the biggest consideration in calculating residential values is sales of similar houses.

After a property’s value is determined, it is multiplied by a factor that depends on what type of property it is to determine its “assessed value.” For residences and farm residences, that factor is 11.5 percent. Other categories include agricultural land, 30 percent; agricultural buildings, 25 percent; commercial, 25 percent; vacant lots, 12 percent; and not-for-profit, 12 percent.

Taxes are calculated by multiplying the assessed value by the tax rate, expressed in mills. One mill is one-tenth of a percent. For a residential property, one mill works out to 11.5 cents per $1,000 of appraised value — 25 cents per $1,000 for commercial property.

Composite levies

Adding the different levies — such as state, county, city, school, and others that can include hospital, cemetery, drainage, or other special districts — in a city produces the total levy paid by taxpayers in that city.

Based on a house with an appraised value of $100,000, here are the total levies and taxes by city:

  • Burns: 228.5 mills, $2,628 taxes.
  • Durham: 168.1 mills, $1,933 taxes.
  • Florence: 214.1 mills, $2,462 taxes.
  • Goessel: 194.6 mills, $2,237 taxes.
  • Hillsboro: 173.6 mills, $1,997 taxes.
  • Lehigh: 196.1 mills, $2,255 taxes.
  • Lincolnville: 196.9 mills, $2,265 taxes.
  • Lost Springs: 153.2 mills, $1,761 taxes.
  • Marion: 198.3 mills, $2,281 taxes (outside the Cottonwood Valley Drainage District); or 202.3 mills, $2,327 taxes (in the Cottonwood Valley Drainage District).
  • Peabody: 233.3 mills, $2,683 taxes (in Catlin Township); or 228.8 mills, $2,631 taxes (in Peabody Township).
  • Ramona: 250.7 mills, $2,883 taxes.
  • Tampa: 188.4 mills, $2,166 taxes.

Ramona’s total levy is the highest, and Lost Springs’ is the lowest. Property taxes on a $100,000 house in Ramona would be $1,122 higher than in Lost Springs.

State and county

The State of Kansas property tax levy is unchanged at 1.5 mills. Marion County’s mill levy is 69.2 mills, up 2 mills — about 3 percent — from the year before.


City mill levies vary greatly, from a low of 17.1 mills in Lost Springs to a high of 112.8 mills in Ramona. Durham had been the lowest at 7.1 mills last year, but it nearly quadrupled to 28.1 mills to pay for repairs and improvements to streets, the city sewer pond, and water tower.

  • Burns: 66.3 mills, down less than 1 mill.
  • Durham: 28.1 mills, up almost 21 mills.
  • Florence: 29.5 mills, up 1.6 mills.
  • Goessel: 57.1 mills, up 1.4 mills.
  • Hillsboro: 40.3 mills, up 1.1 mills.
  • Lehigh: 60.4 mills, down 1.8 mills.
  • Lincolnville: 57.4 mills, down less than 1 mill.
  • Lost Springs: 17.1 mills, down less than 1 mill.
  • Marion: 63.8 mills, up less than 1 mill.
  • Peabody: 73.9 mills, down less than 1 mill.
  • Ramona: 112.8 mills, down 1.2 mills.
  • Tampa: 53.0 mills, down less than 1 mill.

School districts

School districts account for a substantial portion of property taxes throughout Marion County.

USD 397, which includes Lincolnville, Lost Springs, Ramona, and Tampa, set a 46.4 mill levy, up 1.1 mills.

Peabody-Burns USD 398’s levy is 70.7 mills, down less than 1 mill.

Marion/Florence USD 408’s levy is 52.5 mills, up 2.9 mills from the previous year.

USD 410, which includes Hillsboro, Durham, and Lehigh, has a mill levy of 62.6 mills, up less than 1 mill.

Goessel USD 411 raised its mill levy by 3.6 mills to 61.8 mills.

Hospital district

Marion County Hospital District No. 1 set a levy of 11.3 mills, down less than 1 mill. The district includes Burns, Florence, Lincolnville, Lost Springs, Marion, Ramona, Tampa, and part of Peabody. It supports St. Luke Hospital in Marion.

Fire districts

There are several fire districts in Marion County. None of them levy more than 10 mills in property taxes.

Fire Districts No. 1 in Durham Park Township, No. 2 in West Branch Township, No. 3 in Colfax Township, and No. 5 in Clear Creek Township, and McPherson County Fire District No. 6, which includes Logan Township, all had virtually unchanged mill levies. They were: No. 1, 4.3 mills; No. 2, 5.0 mills; No. 3, 6.6 mills; No. 5, 8.3 mills; and McPherson County No. 6, 4.0 mills.

Fire District No. 4 in Peabody lowered its levy less than 1 mill to 1.9 mills. Fire District No. 6 in Lost Springs city and township decreased by less than 1 mill to 5.5 mills. Fire District No. 7 in Blaine and Clark townships and Tampa decreased less than 1 mill to 3.6 mills.

Harvey County Fire District No. 1, which includes East Branch and West Branch townships decreased less than 1 mill to 5.6 mills. Butler County Fire District No. 10, which includes Burns and Milton and Summit townships increased 3.1 mills to 8.9 mills.

Menno Township Fire Fund raised its levy less than 1 mill to 1.9 mills. Fairplay Township Fire Fund’s levy was virtually unchanged at 1.0 mills.


Townships in Marion County tax considerably less than the county, school districts, and cities. Some levy no taxes at all. Only Peabody Township changed more than a mill, from 3.9 mills to 7.0 mills.

  • Catlin Township, 0.2 mills.
  • Centre Township, 2.2 mills.
  • Clear Creek Township, 0.1 mills.
  • Doyle Township, 2.0 mills.
  • Durham Park Township, 1.0 mill.
  • East Branch Township, 0.4 mills.
  • Fairplay Township, 0.2 mills.
  • Gale Township, 2.5 mills.
  • Grant Township, 1.3 mills.
  • Lehigh Township, 4.4 mills.
  • Liberty Township, 2.7 mills.
  • Logan Township, 0.5 mills.
  • Menno Township, 0.4 mills.
  • Peabody Township, 7.0 mills.
  • Risley Township, 2.9 mills.
  • Wilson Township, 1.6 mills.

Blaine, Clark, Colfax, Lost Springs, Milton, Moore, Summit, and West Branch townships levy no property taxes.

Cemetery districts

There are 14 cemetery districts at least partially in Marion County that levy property taxes.

Taxpayers in the Burns, French Creek, Gard, Grant, and Lost Springs cemetery districts pay less than 1 mill.

Claney Cemetery District levies 1.1 mills; College Hill, 1.4; Lewis, 1.4; Lincolnville, 1.3; Pilsen, 1.7; Prairie Lawn, 2.2; Summit, 2.4; Tampa Community, 1.9; and Whitewater, 2.7.

Other districts

Marion County has three improvement districts: No. 1 is Eastshore and levies 3.5 mills; No. 2 is the county lake and levies 2.2 mills; and No. 3 is Pilsen and levies 14.1 mills.

The Cottonwood Valley Drainage District covers part of Marion County and levies 4.0 mills.

The North Central Kansas Library District levies 1.4 mills. Durham, Lehigh, Lincolnville, Lost Springs, Ramona, and Tampa are in the district.

Doyle Creek watershed District is primarily in Marion County and levies 2.5 mills. Lyons Creek, 1.0 mills; Middle Creek, 3.5 mills; Sand Creek, 0.3 mills, Turkey Creek, 2.4 mills; and Whitewater, 1.5 mills, are all partially in Marion County.

Last modified Dec. 31, 2013