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The original item was published from 8/29/2023 3:45:00 PM to 9/11/2023 11:05:22 AM.

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Riley County Home Page

Posted on: August 29, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Riley County 2024 Budget Update

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(RILEY COUNTY, KS – August 29, 2023) The Riley County Board of County Commissioners approved the 2024 budget to exceed the revenue neutral rate during their regular meeting Monday, August 28. After several months of discussion and following a series of public hearings, Commissioners voted unanimously to approve.  

“We appreciate everyone who took time to weigh in on this important matter, as well as the staff who have worked hard for the past several months to develop the budget,” said Commission Chair Kathryn Focke. 

The 2024 total budget figures are as follows:

  • Riley County: $92,278,743
  • Riley County Fire District #1: $1,365,788

Revenue sources to fund County budget projects and services include ad valorem taxes (property taxes), sales taxes, local fees and permits, grants, investment income, and special assessments. 

The 2024 Riley County budget represents a property tax increase of $1,250,202 over 2023. The overall budget number increased by a much larger amount, $11,787,054. This large overall increase is due to American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) funds currently warehoused in Riley County accounts. As of August 10, 2023, those disaster fund balances totaled $14,024,306. 

The disaster funds have been allocated for two Emergency Medical Services (EMS) projects; the new EMS station in Leonardville to be completed this fall, and the new EMS headquarters in Manhattan which will begin construction in 2024. A portion of the disaster funds has also been allocated to help fund wastewater projects in rural communities. 

“We expect to pay for the new EMS stations outright, and don’t plan to use bond and interest funds,” explained Commissioner Focke. “We’re also increasing the level of service for residents in 2024. For example, this budget includes additional EMS positions to staff the new Leonardville station, and additional staff positions for elections.”

Riley County Fire District #1

The 2024 budget for the Riley County Fire District #1 (RCFD#1) was also part of the discussion. The department is funded entirely by ad valorem taxes, including commercial and residential property taxes, recreation vehicle tax, delinquent taxes, watercraft, and commercial vehicle tax.

The RCFD#1 budget is increasing by $107,493 in 2024. In 2023, the RCFD#1 budget was held flat, but increases were required in 2024 to cover rising costs in fuel, equipment, facilities, and personnel. 

This rural fire department has more than 100 volunteers, 15 fire stations, and 3.5 staff positions. They provide fire protection, as well as emergency services and support, outside Manhattan city limits. RCFD#1 represents a separate taxing entity with taxes applied to residents outside of Manhattan. 

Mill Levy

The mill levies for both organizations are decreasing, but property taxes will still increase in 2024 due to rising property values. 

A mill levy is the tax rate applied to the assessed value of a property. One mill is $1.00 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation. It’s important to note that assessed value is a percentage of a property’s total value. The assessment rate for residential property is 11.5%.  A home worth $200,000 would yield an assessed value of $23,000 ($200,000 x 0.115), culminating in a property tax obligation of $23.00 for one mill.

The table below has details for 2023 and 2024 Riley County and RCFD#1 budgets. Additional information about the budget history is available on the Riley County website at A video recording of the August 28 BOCC meeting, including public comments, is available on YouTube at

Budget Timeline

2024 budgets for all taxing authorities in Kansas, including school districts, fire departments, libraries, cities, and counties must be submitted to the state no later than October 1, 2023. Riley County’s budget was approved and will be submitted to the state in advance of that deadline.


2023 Budget Total2024 Budget Total

Riley County



Riley County Fire District #1





2023 Property Tax Revenue2023 Mill Levy2024 Property Tax Revenue2024 Mill Levy

Riley County





Riley County Fire District #1





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