Where do my taxes go, and who controls them?

Have you ever looked at your tax bill and wondered where the funds go and who controls them? I have some answers for you. Each entity that receives part of the property tax has an elected board that oversees those funds. Below is information on the entities that receive the most significant amounts of your property tax. You can find out where your tax dollars are going by going to

The most significant amount of money goes to Raytown C-2 School District. Their website has information on their meetings. The district includes areas outside of Raytown, and anyone living in the district pays property tax for the school district. The City of Raytown has no control over the funds or what the school district does with those funds, including school bus routes.

Next up, we have the Raytown Fire Protection District. This is a separate entity from the city. They provide us with many services, including ambulances, EMTs, Fire Suppression, and several other services. Also, if you’re a Raytown resident and need an ambulance, you aren’t billed for what your insurance doesn’t cover. Fun fact- insurance rates are sometimes based on the fire department’s rating. If a fire department has slow response times and a low rating, insurance rates could be higher than Raytown, where the fire department has a great rating. Again the City of Raytown has no control over these funds or their use.

The third entity is Jackson County. The Jackson county legislature oversees these funds. The City of Raytown has no control over these funds or their use.

Now that 87% of the property tax has been accounted for, we get to the City of Raytown. Raytown is a 4th class city. Being a fourth-class city puts some limits on what the city can do. Many other cities in Missouri that are a similar size have charters and a bit more control over what they’re allowed to do. Raytown only received 5.05% of my property taxes in 2021. The house with a market value of 77,000 dollars was 69.7120 dollars. Yes, these funds the Board of Aldermen controls, and budgets from prior years can be found here. 2022-23 was just approved and is expected to be available soon.

For perspective, let’s look at the 5th entity, the Mid Continent Library, which received 50.7369 dollars. Yes, the City of Raytown received about 19 dollars more of my tax dollars than the library. The Mid Continent Library is run by a board of elected officials also. No, the City of Raytown doesn’t have any control over the Library budget, yet per household, the library gets only about 1.5% less property tax dollars than the city.

Metropolitan Community College – Is governed by the elected board of trustees.

Mental Health- Jackson County has a Community Mental Health Levy, which a Board of Trustees oversees. The Levy generates about $11 million annually for indigent mental healthcare. The Board of Trustees has high standards for accountability. Funding is competitive and performance-based.

Handicapped Workshop – The Elected County Executive appoints these positions. Services-EITAS

State of Missouri Blind Pension Fund – The money from this is sent to the State and is administered by the Missouri Department of Social Services and controlled by the Director of the Department of Social Services. The elected Governor of Missouri appoints them. Information on this can be found here

Moral of this blog-

• Voters control who they put in control of their tax money.

• The City of Raytown doesn’t get much of what you pay in property taxes.


Let’s Talk About how the City is Funded.

The City of Raytown’s income is dependent on taxes and fees. Pictured are budgeted revenues for Raytown for 2021-22. The actual document, including the budget for last year, may be found at Several sources of income are required to go to specific places. Such as sales taxes that were implemented for Transportation, Parks, or Public Safety. So while General Sales Taxes are the highest source of income for the city overall, it is divided between several areas and can only be used for those items. Service charges, the next highest source of income for the city, are mainly from the sewer bills, and those funds from the sewer bills can only be used to fund the sanity sewer system and pay for those expenses. Franchise fees are the highest source of income. These are fees paid by utilities, like Spire, Evergy, and cable companies, to name a few, for the use of the right of way. These are often passed on to the consumers based on the usage of the services. You only pay the franchise fee on cable if you have cable. Property taxes only bring in about 7% of the city’s revenue, with $1,934,200 estimated revenue from it for 2021-22. The total revenue for the city is $26,187,234. If we remove the grants and Sanitary Sewer changes from the total, that leaves $18,230,534 that the city receives from taxes and fees. Based on the US Census Bureau data from 2020, the city has 30,012 people. Dividing the revenues, minus sewer and grants, the $18,230,534 divided by the population is $607.44 per person. If the $18,230,534 is divided by the number of housing units, that’s an average of $1,333.71 per household a year, $111.14 per month to keep the roads plowed, police operating, stray dogs picked up, parks, and all the other things the city provides its citizens, including trying to maintain the aging infrastructure of the roads, sidewalks, and stormwater system. How does this relate to the ballot measures? You might be wondering, well, that average of $111.14 per month isn’t going to keep up with what is needed, and the much-needed repairs won’t happen.