The Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kan., has proposed a 6.4% increase in the property tax to help compensate for real estate values that have fallen by 14% since 2009. The property tax rate has not been increased since 2002.

County administrator Dennis Hays said without the tax increase the combined government would face major budget cuts, layoffs, and the elimination of basic services.

Even with the proposed tax increase, Hays said, the property tax will generate $5.5 million less than it did in 2009 due to declining values.

Hays said the county expects to collect $16.8 million less in total revenue in fiscal 2011 than it did in fiscal 2008. Sales tax revenues are down $4.1 million from 2008, he said.

“The global recession which started in 2008 and still drags on is creating unprecedented financial pressures on the Unified Government,” Hays said in his budget message to Mayor Joe Reardon and other officials.

Hays proposed a budget of $247 million in fiscal 2011, down from $248.5 million in fiscal 2010.

The Unified Government has approximately $250 million in outstanding general obligation debt.

The GO debt is rated AA by Standard & Poor’s and A2 by Moody’s Investors Service.

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