Douglas County, Kansas

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Douglas County is one of 105 counties in Kansas. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, its population was 110,826.[1] The county seat and largest city in the county is Lawrence, Kansas.[2]

Website evaluation

See also: Evaluation of Kansas county websites
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Transparency grading process


The good

  • County commissioners are listed with contact information.[3]
  • Meeting agendas and minutes are posted.[4][5]
  • Administrative officials are listed with contact information.[6]
  • Budgets and local tax rates are posted.[7]
  • Property taxes are payable online.[8]
  • Audits are posted.[9]
  • Information for vendors is provided.[10]
  • A public records request form is provided.[11]
  • Building permits and zoning information are posted.[12]

The bad

Contact information

Douglas County
1100 Massachusetts St.
Lawrence, KS 66044
Hours: M-F 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Phone: (785) 832-5268
Fax: (785) 832-5148

Budget

2011 budget revenues[13]
Source Revenue % of Total
Taxes $51,294,422 76.55%
Fund balance $7,848,626 11,71%
Fees $4,685,180 6.99%
Fund transfers $2,486,500 3.71%
Reimbursements $241,704 0.36%
Investment income $270,667 0.40%
Miscellaneous $180,321 0.27%
Total revenue $67,007,420 100%
Douglas County budget expenditures[13]
Fund 2011 2010 2009
General $37,129,590 $36,051,257 $36,132,179
Ambulance $3,661,528 $3,447,682 $3,481,342
Bond and interest $901,385 $812,736 $849,355
Employee benefits $8,697,853 $8,247,694 $7,328,607
Road and bridge $6,043,934 $6,239,973 $5,641,000
Special building $345,000 $300,000 $300,000
Special liability $149,800 $189,381 $324,396
Youth services $1,589,585 $1,600,617 $1,503,000
Total levied funds $58,518,675 $56,889,340 $55,559,879
Total budget $66,632,420 $65,360,208 $62,872,320
Total less interfund transfers $58,486,054 $56,793,258 $54,532,093

Retirement benefits

Pension

See also: Kansas public pensions

Douglas County employees are on a defined-benefit pension plan.[14]

Other post-employment benefits

The county has accrued $63.5 million in unfunded liabilities for other post-employment benefits (OPEBs).[14]

Taxes

Property tax

The county's mill levy for 2010 was 35.748, the highest in at least a decade. The state mill levy was 1.500. Municipalities, school districts and certain services have additional levies.[15]

County mill levies[15]
Year Mill levy
2010 35.748
2009 32.803
2008 32.820
2007 29.995
2006 30.013
2005 30.099
2004 29.856
2003 29.859
2002 27.816
2001 27.885

Mortgage registration tax

Douglas County also has a mortgage registration tax. Its revenue peaked in 2003 at $3 million and has since declined.[13]

County projects

As of 2011, the county was purchasing properties in order to build a new homeless shelter.[16]

Douglas County has installed new heating and air conditioning in certain county buildings. Energy efficiency savings are estimated at $50,000 per year.[17]

External links

References

  1. U.S. Census Bureau, "QuickFacts," accessed November 20, 2011
  2. Douglas County, "About Us," accessed November 20, 2011
  3. Douglas County, "County Commission," accessed November 20, 2011
  4. Douglas County, "Commission Agendas," accessed November 20, 2011
  5. Douglas County, "Commission Minutes Archive," accessed November 20, 2011
  6. Douglas County, "Administration," accessed November 20, 2011
  7. Douglas County, "Budget Division," accessed November 20, 2011
  8. Douglas County, "Online Values & Taxes," accessed November 20, 2011
  9. Douglas County, "Forms and Documents," accessed November 20, 2011
  10. Douglas County, "Purchasing Division," accessed November 20, 2011
  11. Douglas County, "Records Request," accessed November 20, 2011
  12. Douglas County, "Zoning & Codes," accessed November 20, 2011
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Douglas County, "2011 Budget," accessed November 20, 2011
  14. 14.0 14.1 Douglas County, "2010 Financial Statement," accessed November 20, 2011
  15. 15.0 15.1 Douglas County, "Mill Levies," accessed November 20, 2011
  16. LJWorld, "Douglas County Commission to consider deal to acquire property near new homeless shelter from towing company," accessed November 20, 2011
  17. LJWorld, "Douglas County investing in long-term sustainability," accessed November 20, 2011
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