Lawrence officials introduce proposed 2024 budget


The proposed 2024 City of Lawrence budget was introduced to the Lawrence Common Council on Sept. 22 with a lengthy presentation to the council’s Finance Committee, which met just prior to the regular council meeting.

Controller Tyler Douthit started the presentation with a citywide overview and said the proposed budget totals about $55 million. The budget includes 3 percent raises for city employees and an estimated maximum property tax rate of .8778 cents per $100 assessed value.

Douthit said property value assessments have risen, but not to the same degree as it did for 2023’s tax bills. The 2023-2024 increase is an estimated 4.7 percent, he said, compared to 18 percent from 2022 to 2023.

Douthit said assessed values have increased steadily over the last five years.

“We’ve seen quite a bit of growth from 2019 all the way to 2024,” he said. “In 2019, we had $1.4 million in net assessed value and (in) ’24, we have a certified net assessed value of 2.1 million.”

Property tax revenue makes up about 47 percent of the City of Lawrence’s general fund. Other revenue comes from local income taxes and various fees.

Douthit covered different funds within the city, showing the balance of anticipated revenue and proposed expenditures for each. He also gave a rundown of the budget-approval timeline. He said a notice has been prepared to comply with the 10-day notice requirement before a public hearing on the proposed budget, which is set for Oct. 2.

“So, for any anybody listening, you can come be heard as a citizen at the public hearing on Oct. 2,” he said. “Then you (the council) have to wait 10 days to act on the budget.”

That means the council can take action on the proposed budget as soon as its Oct. 18 midmonth meeting. The deadline to approve a budget is Nov. 1.

During the regular council meeting following the Finance Committee meeting, the budget ordinance and other 2024 budget-related items were postponed pending additional review and the public hearing.

The other budget items are:

  • Ordinance 10, establishing salary ranges for appointed officers and employees. Ordinance 11, establishing salary ranges for fire and police department personnel.
  • Ordinance 12, establishing compensation for elected officials. According to the ordinance, the mayor would be paid $99,750 in 2024, the city clerk would receive $78,856, council members would be paid $16,275 each, except for the council president ($18,375) and vice president ($17,325).