OSAGE COUNTY (KSNT) - Local schools, townships, fire departments, libraries, city districts, cemetery boards and more are facing financial issues from late tax disbursements.
Osage County Commissioner Les Holman told 27 News due to high turnover and "folks who perhaps didn't know how to process them" tax dollars are being distributed late across the county. Holman said the issue is impacting any agency in Osage County that receives tax dollars. As a result, the county has stopped any unnecessary spending, according to Holman.
The December distributions come from motor vehicle collections and January distributions come from property tax collections, according to Osage County Treasurer Laura Hawkins.
Burlingame City Clerk Patty Atchison said the city just received their tax distributions for Dec. 20 and is still awaiting January disbursements. Because of the issue, the City of Burlingame filed a complaint letter with the county commissioners.
Several entities attended the county commissioner meeting on Monday to complain about the issues. A representative from the Lyndon Library and USD 456 attended the meeting. According to the Lyndon Library Director Genea Reynolds, the library was graciously given $5,000 from the township to pay bills and payroll until its distribution is received.
"Right now we’re in limbo because the county just got out the tax distributions for December," Reynolds said. "I've had enough money saved to get through January but still haven’t gotten any money. The township contacted the county, they spoke with the county and they said they’re hoping they’ll get money by the end of the month."
Reynolds said if the library doesn't get paid by Feb. 29, "we're going to have to figure something out."
"A lot of people have reached out to me in regards to their towns and they don't know what to do," Holman said. "So they're contacting their boards and commissioners."
"I'm here again today being that we did not receive our tax disbursement as statutorily required for the month of January," Marais Des Cygnes Valley USD 456 Superintendent Joe Sample said in the county commission meeting. "Somewhere in the neighborhood of expecting at least $150,000 for our LOB and somewhere in the neighborhood of $50,000 for our capital outlay amongst I guess some other amounts for our rec. department."
Sample said this has been the fifth or sixth time that the school hasn't received its allotment on time during his time as superintendent. He said the last time they had the conversation was in June of 2023.
"I mean you guys as the county definitely expect people to meet timelines but for whatever reason when it comes to these types of timelines that are statutorily required, we seem to treat it as if its 9th grade homework," Sample said.
To help remedy the situation, the commission hired a consultant to train and work with the treasurer's office staff, according to Holman.
"Regardless we are going to get the distribution out," Hawkins said. "If we need to, we're going to go back and clean up behind and get it straightened out because we know that you guys all need your distributions."
"I don't know what to say other than hurry hurry hurry," Holman said. "And I'm not trying to bag on you but this is kind of frustrating."