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Office of the Appraiser
11811 S. Sunset Dr.
Olathe, KS 66061
Questions and Answers
1. Why are my taxes so high?
you are concerned about the amount of your tax bill but feel the value of
your property is accurate, please contact your city council, school board
members, county commissioners, or any other taxing authority that create
budgets and set mill levies (tax rates). The mill levy directly affects the
amount of your property tax.
2. What is the main function of the County Appraiser?
Appraiser is responsible for discovering, listing and valuing all taxable
property. Appraisers are responsible to individual property owners to ensure
that the value is proper so the owner pays no more than his/her fair share
of property taxes. The County Appraiser is also responsible to all people in
ensuring that no property escapes the assessment process and that no
property owner receives unauthorized preferential treatment.
3. What is meant by "fair market value?"
"Fair market value" means the amount in terms of money that a well-informed buyer is willing to pay and a well-informed seller is willing to accept for property in an open and competitive market, assuming that the parties are acting without undue compulsion.
4. What is meant by "qualifying item" for commercial personal property?
items, per the Kansas Department of Revenue, Division of Property Valuation,
an item is a line item as listed on the personal property rendition.
However, if a single line item represents a group of like goods that can be
used independently and have the same or similar cost, such as "chairs, 6 @
$100," the item is not a single qualifying piece, but six qualifying items.
The Retail Cost when “new” determines whether an item purchased “used” will
qualify for the $1500 exemption. Items of material and supplies that do not
individually cost over $1,500 are exempt.
5. What is meant by "cost?"
The cost of an asset is the retail cost to the owner when new excluding any freight charges, installation charges and sales tax on the asset.
6. Why should I bring evidence to the appeal hearing?
At the appeal hearing it is the duty of the County Appraiser or the County Appraiser's designee to provide evidence to substantiate the valuation of such property. However, you should be prepared to present evidence to substantiate your opinion of value. It is not sufficient to simply contend
"the value is too high."
7. What is the purpose of a property value appeal?
The purpose of an appeal is to establish the fair market value of property where there is significant difference in opinion of value. During the appeal, an appraiser will review information submitted by you to determine if your property has been appraised in a manner that is consistent with other property owners and that you are being treated justly and fairly.
8. What is the difference between an informal appeal and a payment under protest?
An informal (equalization) appeal is filed in the first part of the year after you receive a valuation notice from the County Appraiser. The equalization appeal is designed to address not only valuation and classification
questions but also whether or not your property is valued equally with all other similar properties in the county.
A Payment Under Protest
form is filed after you receive a tax statement from the County Treasurer. It is filed at the time taxes are paid. It is another procedure for appealing the value of your property.
NOTE: Property owners may appeal the value on their property only once during any tax year.
9. What is the Classification Amendment? Or ... How is property classified in Kansas?
Property is classified for assessment in Kansas. This means that all property (except agricultural land) is appraised at "fair market value." It is assessed at a percentage of fair market value. The assessed value multiplied by the mill levy equals the tax bill. The Kansas constitution classifies property for assessment. The table below shows the current classification of property.
Real property used for residential purposes including multi-family residential
property - 11.5%
Mobile homes used for residential purposes - 11.5%
Land devoted to agricultural use (use value) - 30%
Vacant lots - 12%
Commercial property - 25%
All other urban and rural real property not otherwise specifically
sub-classed - 30%
Commercial and industrial machinery and equipment - 25%
Mineral leaseholds: less than five barrels/100 MCF/Day - 25%
Mineral leaseholds: more than five barrels/100 MCF/Day - 30%
Motor vehicles - 30%
All other personal property - 30%
Agricultural buildings - 25%
Only pertinent types of property and their assessment rates have been presented here. The constitution also lists other types of property that may not be listed above.
10. Why did the County Appraiser only inspect the exterior of my property?
Unless there are unusual circumstances, all residential properties in Kansas are appraised by exterior inspection. The cost of interior inspections would be prohibitive to the taxpayers of Kansas. Also, the security and well-being of the county personnel and the privacy of the taxpayer are of importance. Finding a suitable time for both the taxpayer and the county to arrange for the inside inspection is an additional problem.
11. My neighbor's house is almost like mine. Why is my value higher than theirs?
Factors that could cause the difference are square footage, condition, etc. Also, your neighbor's property may be valued too low instead of your value being too high. The goal is to value all houses at the value they would sell for on the open market. Reappraisal is an ongoing process where both undervalued and overvalued properties are being adjusted to their market value.
12. What if the value of my property is too high?
appraised value is the key. Using the ORION mass appraisal system, the value
of residential property is determined by an examination of sales of
properties comparable to yours. If the appraised value reflects the fair
market value of your property, then the appraised value is correct. You can
find the comparable sales used to determine your value on the back of your
Notice of Appraised Value (NOAV) and find the list of characteristics of
your property under our
real estate on our Web site.
13. Why did the Appraiser value my home for more than my sales contract?
there are unusual circumstances, all residential properties in Kansas are
appraised by exterior inspection. The cost of interior inspections would be
prohibitive to the property owners of Kansas. Also, the security and
well-being of the county personnel and the privacy of property owners are
of importance. Finding a suitable time for both the taxpayer and the county
to arrange for the inside inspection is an additional concern.
14. The county re-measured my house and found the square footage to be less than previously measured. When the county corrected their records to show that my house is smaller than they thought, my value increased instead of decreased. Why?
This does not happen in most cases. When it does, it is possible the information of the new square footage may cause different properties to be drawn for comparability. It is also possible that other facts discovered during the inspection may have influenced the final value.
15. If I got a reduction in value for earlier years, why then was the value raised again in the current year?
You might have added some improvements. The county could have found an error in the value of earlier years. General changes in market conditions could cause an increase in value.
16. Will a protest be allowed if the taxes are "too high" but the value is acceptable and there is no mill levy challenge?
The county cannot refuse to accept a protest application. However, if COTA receives a protest application and determines that it is without jurisdiction or that the taxpayer is raising a claim upon which no relief can be granted, it will be dismissed.
17. What is the State Court of Tax Appeals?
The State Board of Tax Appeals, known as COTA, is the highest administrative body established by law to consider state and local tax issues. It is a totally separate entity from the local taxing jurisdiction. It acts as a disinterested third party between the taxpayer and the county.
18. Who is responsible for filing my tax protest with the Court of Tax Appeals?
You are responsible for filing your tax protest. See
19. If I have an appeal with the Court of Tax Appeals for the current year, do the taxes have to be paid until the appeal is settled?
Yes, if you want to avoid penalties and interest on the delinquent amount.
20. How do I determine my tax bill?
Multiply the appraised value by the appropriate assessment rate (11.5%
residential or 25% commercial) to determine the assessed value, and
then multiply the assessed value by the total
mill levy in your taxing jurisdiction.
Appraised value x (assessment rate) = assessed value, or taxable value
Assessed value x Mill levy = tax bill amount