What Ray Frederick Forgot to Include about Marcey Gregory

Editor’s note: the original version of this article contained an error in arithmetic, which has been corrected.

In Sunday’s Wichita Eagle, Wichita businessman Ray Frederick wrote a letter supporting Marcey Gregory for the Sedgwick County Commission.

In listing her qualifications, he wrote “Gregory is for low taxes.” That doesn’t square with Gregory’s recent actions.

On August 11, 2008, the City of Goddard raised its mill levy — the rate at which property is taxed — by a large amount. As you can see in this image of the Goddard Budget Summary, the mill levy is increasing from 14.061 to an estimated 16.402. That’s an increase in the tax rate of 16.6%.

In her defense, Mayor Gregory says that Goddard is growing rapidly. That’s true. As Goddard grows, new property is added to the tax rolls, and the assessed value of property rises rapidly. So too does the tax revenue collected. Here’s a chart of figures from the Sedgwick County Clerk’s office showing this rapid growth:

This is something often forgotten about property taxes — at least politicians who rely on these taxes to support increased spending year after year don’t like to mention it: As new property comes into being, or as the assessor raises the assessed value of existing property, tax revenue increases.

Bob Weeks is one of the two campaign managers for Karl Peterjohn, Marcey Gregory’s opponent.


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