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Posted on: January 11, 2024

Commission Reorganizes and issues letter of support for LAVTR legislation

John Ford taking oath at 2023 swearing in ceremony

(RILEY COUNTY, KS –January 11, 2024) During Monday's meeting, the Riley County Board of County Commissioners voted to reorganize, unanimously selecting Commissioner John Ford as Chairperson for 2024. As Chair, Ford will open and close meetings, read proclamations, and perform all other required duties for the year. Commissioner Ford will also begin a practice of sharing brief video updates on the Riley County Facebook page before the start of each meeting, calling attention to upcoming agenda items to educate the public and encourage civic engagement. 

Outgoing Chair, Kathryn Focke shared her gratitude for the past year's accomplishments, saying "I've enjoyed being the Chairwoman for the past year. I'm pleased with the cooperation and accomplishments the County and this Board have made in 2023, and I look forward to 2024."

As one of the first action items in 2024, Riley County Commissioners endorsed written testimony in support of Senate Bill 196. The letter, addressed to Senate Assessment and Taxation Chair Caryn Tyson, highlighted the bill as a fair and logical solution to Kansans' concerns regarding increasing property taxes.

The letter states "This bill [SB196] reactivates state funding of an existing state statute which, beginning in 1965 and until 2004, returned to counties statewide a portion of the sales tax dollars already paid by local citizens. The state’s refusal to comply with that existing state law for the past 20 years has meant local citizens must pay twice for purchases subject to local sales taxes. Without access to those returned funds, counties across the state have, over the past 20 years, increased property taxes to fund essential local services.  Under state law, property tax remains the primary source of every county’s operating revenue."  

In the letter, Commissioners also encouraged any citizen who cares about their property taxes to visit the Kansas Association of Counties website to find more information about the bill. Most especially, the letter encourages the public to watch three brief videos explaining the content of the legislation. 

Local Ad Valorem Tax Reduction (LAVTR)

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