Johnson County, Kansas

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Johnson County is one of 105 counties in Kansas. It has a seven-member board of commissioners and the population was 544,179 as of the 2010 U.S. Census.[1] The county contains the western suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri and is included in its metropolitan area. The county seat is Olathe and its most populous city is Overland Park. Johnson County has the highest per-capita income in the state and 19th highest per-capita income in the nation (as of 2000) and the nation's 46th highest median household income.

Website evaluation

See also: Evaluation of Kansas county websites

In 2011 Johnson County earned a Sunny Awards for having a perfect website transparency score.

Elected Officials
Administrative Officials
Permits, zoning
Public records
Local taxes
County websitesGuide.png
Transparency grading process

The good

  • Budget
    • The most current budget is listed.[2]
    • Budgets are archived for five years.[3]
  • Administrative officials
    • Department heads are listed for each department.[4]
    • Contact information for administrative officials is provided, including a mailing address, phone number and, in some cases, personalized email.
    • The county manager discloses a personalized email.[5]
  • Elected officials
    • Elected officials are listed with a mailing address, phone number and personalized email.[6]
  • Meetings
    • Meeting minutes are archived for ten years.
    • Meeting agendas are archived for ten years.
    • A meeting calendar is available and names the times and locations of public meetings.
    • Meeting videos are available.[7]
  • Audits
    • The most recent audit is posted.
    • Audits dating back to 2001 are available.[8]
  • Contracts
    • Bids and RFPs are posted online.
    • Approved contract statements are provided for vendors.[9]
  • Public records
    • The public information officer is identified and maintained by the county manager. This person provides a mailing address, phone number and personalized email.[10]
    • A public records form is provided.
  • Taxes
    • Tax revenues are broken down by federal, state and local funding in the budget.
    • Local taxes, like property taxes, are available online.[11]
    • Residents are able to pay taxes online.[12]
  • Lobbying
    • The county discloses both that it hires lobbyists and the total amount spent on lobbying.[13]
  • Permits and zoning
    • Zoning ordinances are posted online.[14]
    • Permit applications can be downloaded on the site, along with information on how to apply for the permits.[15]

Board of County Commissioners

Pursuant to the Constitution and laws of the State of Kansas and in accordance with the Home Rule Charter, the legislative powers of county government are vested in a seven-member citizen legislature known as the Board of County Commissioners. It strives to strengthen and preserve the health, safety and welfare of the community. To that end, it has exclusive power to enact, amend and repeal public policies; to levy and apportion taxes, make appropriations and adopt budgets; to establish strategic plans to guide organizational performance; and to appoint the County Manager and certain offices, boards and commissions.[16]

Name District Term Expires
Ed Eilert (Chairman) At-Large District January 12, 2015
C. Edward Peterson First District January 12, 2015
Jim Allen Second District January 14, 2013
David A. Lindstrom Third District January 14, 2013
Jason Osterhaus Fourth District January 12, 2015
Michael Ashcraft Fifth District January 12, 2015
Calvin Hayden Sixth District January 14, 2013


The county has a page dedicated to the budget, which provides many documents for residents.[17]


2012 budgeted revenues[18]
Category Revenue % of Total
Taxes $253,825,954 37.2%
Intergovernmental $65,221,591 9.6%
Licenses and permits $2,999,640 0.4%
Charges for service $174,596,426 25.6%
Use of assets $11,612,603 1.7%
Miscellaneous $58,825,065 8.6%
Subtotal $567,081,279
Use of carryover $27,965,820 4.1%
Transfers $86,971,490 12.8%
All revenue sources 682,018,589 100%
2012 budgeted expenditures[18]
Program Expenditures % of Total
Support services $80,668,056 10.0%
Public safety, judicial and emer. svcs. $207,187,696 25.6%
Infrastructure $203,932304 25.1%
Health and human services $98,486,565 12.1%
Culture and recreation $67,900,887 8.4%
Records and taxation $20,095,346 2.5%
Debt service $3,747,735 0.5%
Total sxpenditures $682,018,589
Reserves $128,600,196 15.8%

Tax revenues

Since FY 2009, the county's tax base has been shrinking as a result of the economic downturn.[19]

Budget year Total % Change
2000 $4,849,449,401 12.9%
2001 $5,482,711,314 13.1%
2002 $5,951,066,419 8.5%
2003 $6,169,844,607 3.7%
2004 $6,481,292,971 5.0%
2005 $6,803,214,025 5.0%
2006 $7,178,491,041 5.5%
2007 $7,733,096,457 7.7%
2008 $8,168,949,925 5.6%
2009 $8,231,306,706 0.8%
2010 $7,969,528,237 -3.2%
2011 $7,522,487,535 -5.6%

Retirement costs


See also: Kansas public pensions

Johnson County employees are part of either the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) or the Kansas Police & Firemen's Retirement System (KP&F), both defined-benefit pension systems. The county spent $7,603,997 on KPERS benefits in 2010 and $5,676,736 on KP&F.[20]


The county's other post-retirement benefits plan has accrued $10,386,055 in unfunded liabilities.[20]



Johnson County's 2012 tax rate was 23.256 mills, the same as for 2011.[18]

Below are the estimated property tax amounts for residential homes in 2011.[19]

Residential property value Estimated amount of county property tax for
the FY 2011 proposed budget
$100,000 residential property $267 a year or about $22.25 a month
$150,000 residential property $400 a year or about $33.33 a month
$200,000 residential property $534 a year or about $44.50 a month
$244,000 residential property (average value) $651 a year or about $54.25 a month
$250,000 residential property $667 a year or about $55.58 a month
$300,000 residential property $801 a year or about $66.75 a month
$350,000 residential property $934 a year or about $77.83 a month
$400,000 residential property $1,068 a year or about $89.00 a month

Stimulus funds

ARRA Awards for Johnson County:[21]

Service area Award $ Remaining $
Health and human services $8,855,192 $3,616,143
Infrastructure $31,998,299 $17,488,154
Public safety $1,011,712 $684,788
Support services $552,500 $323,986
Grand total $42,417,703 $22,113,071

Contact information

111 South Cherry, Suite 2600
County Courthouse
Olathe, KS 66061-3421

Phone: (913)-715-0430

Fax: (913)-715-0440

School districts

There are six school districts:

There are also 11 private accredited school districts, four private non-accredited school districts and 24 independent private schools.

Johnson County transparency

Johnson County has a very comprehensive website which allows visitors to find substantial information on their Board of County Commissioners and county government news.

The Johnson County Election Office is also very helpful with online research. Each elected official, his/her term years and contact information can be found at the Johnson County Election Office website under the Elected Officials Directory.

External links


[[Category:Top 10 project