Johnson County generates more tax revenue for the state of Kansas than any other county – nearly 30% of income taxes and over 25% of sales and property taxes. Our economy is diverse and competitive, and provides many opportunities for residents and businesses to thrive.
Because of the size of our economy, small changes in tax rates or inflation can have a large impact. The post-COVID rise in inflation created oversized increases in property values, which has stressed property tax bills and made home ownership more difficult for new homeowners.
I believe it’s possible for state and county governments to work together on solutions for reducing the impact of inflation on property appraisals. With a large budget surplus at the state level, we have an opportunity to implement tax relief that respects our county’s large tax contributions but doesn’t jeopardize the stability of our budget.
Job Creation and Workforce Development
The new Panasonic lithium-ion battery cell factory in De Soto exemplifies our potential in the national and global economy. While time will tell what the true impact will be, this one project is expected to create up to 4,000 new jobs. It’s crucial that we continue to embrace and actively seek out such transformative opportunities, for Johnson County and the state. These initiatives not only bolster our local economy but also position Kansas as a valued partner.
However, the success of these projects depends on the availability of a highly skilled workforce. Technology and IT skills are vital. While the Kansas City metro area is already blossoming as an ecosystem for technology businesses, there is much more we can do. Leading employers in technology and innovation recruit at our universities and draw talent away from Kansas; we need to encourage these highly valued workers to stay (and help employers to consider Kansas as a great place to staff or telecommute from).