Why is property appraised?
Kansas law establishes the method of appraisal used to determine a property owner's share of taxes needed to support the cost of local services. The County Appraiser's Office is responsible for listing and valuing property in a uniform and equal manner to help share the cost of these services. But the amount of taxes you pay depends on the budgets set by your governing bodies, such as those set by the state cities, county entities, and schools.
How is property valued for tax purposes?
All property is valued annually on January 1. Most property is valued based on its fair market value. Exceptions are: land devoted to agriculture which is valued according to current use, as well as commercial and industrial machinery valued based on a formula set forth in Kansas laws.
Why does the value change?
The value of your property can change each year depending on several things. If you made any improvements, such as adding a room or garage, the value will probably go up. If a major structural problem develops, such as foundation crack that is visible from the outside or pointed out at the time of the appraiser's visit, the value may go down. A downtrend in sales of similar properties can also effect your value. If sales are rising, property values will also rise. The Count Appraiser's Office monitors sales within the county continually throughout the year.
When are owners notified?
On or before March 1 each year, the appraiser's office mails valuation notices to the owners of all real property. This valuation notice lists current and previous year's values.
What if I believe the appraised value is too high?
Begin by checking the "classification" on your valuation notice to make sure the use of your property is correct (e.g., R or F for residential, C for commercial, A for agriculture, etc.) Next compare the current and previous year's values. Does the appraised value appear to be close to the price you would consider reasonable if you were to sell your property? You should also consider whether you have made any changes to the property. Have there been any improvements that could increase the value of your property if you were to sell it? Are there any major structural problems that might not be easily seen from the exterior? Remember, however, general maintenance usually does not affect value.
All property owners have the right to appeal the appraised value of their (real estate) property, but by law they must notify the appraiser's office within 30 days of the mailing of the valuation notice. If you believe your property is valued fairly, but taxes are too high, an appeal probably won't help you. Instead, you should attend the public hearings held by the local governmental groups about their budgets that set tax rates. Each group invites public comment.
If you think the appraised value is more than you could reasonably get if you sold your home, you should consider an appeal. Remember, Kansas law requires the appraiser to determine "fair market value" when appraising your property. If you are uncertain of your property value, you can review real estate advertisements for property similar to yours and real estate professionals can provide you with information about the current market. If you believe the appraiser's office has incorrect or incomplete information about your property, you may want to appeal.
How do I file an appeal?
The Grant County Appraiser's Office tries to make the process as simple as possible. The appeal instructions are included with the Annual Valuation Notice. If you wish to appeal contact the appraiser's office to request a hearing. By law, you must appeal within 30 days of the date your valuation notice was mailed. There will be several dates and times available for your convenience or you may elect to hold a hearing by phone. You will be notified (by mail) of a date and time of the informal hearing which is held at the Grant County Courthouse. All hearings must be completed by May 15.
How do I prepare for an appeal?
The informal hearing held in the Appraiser's Office takes about 30 minutes. You can designate someone to represent you if you wish by filing a declaration. However, owners usually represent themselves at this level. It is important to prepare specific reasons and documentation showing why you feel your property is not appraised at fair market value. For example, bring:
- Any recent appraisals or sales contracts
- Copies of surveys or other pertinent data
- Photographs of any structural damage
- Copies of recent estimates for repairs
- Data on recent sales of property that is similar to your own.
- The hearing is very informal so don't be nervous or confrontational
Just consider the hearing an opportunity to make sure the appraiser's office has the correct information and understands your concerns.
What else should I know?
If you fail to meet the 30-day deadline for filing an appeal, state law gives you another option. You may pay your taxes under protest by requesting a protest application when paying the first half of your taxes. State law states that you can only have one appeal annually. If you have an informal appeal, you cannot file your taxes under protest in the same year. If you appealed and are still dissatisfied with the results of the informal hearing, you may appeal to the next level, the State Court of Tax Appeals.
How do I figure my taxes?
- Multiply the appraised value by the assessment rate for the classification of your property.
- Multiply the assessed value by the mill levy (the tax rate set by groups such as the county,cities, and schools) for your taxing district. To determine the actual mill levy for your taxing district, call the Appraiser's Office at 620-356-3362.
For example:$80,000 (market value of home) multiplied by 11.5 (residential assessment rate) equals $9,200. Multiply this by .120 (mill levy; 120 mills or $120 per $1,000 of assessed value) to equal $1,140 (total taxes due on your home).
|R||Real property used for residential purposes including apartments & condominiums||11.5%|
|F||Residences on farm-home sites||11.5%|
|A||Land devoted to agricultural use||30.0%|
|A||Improvements on land devoted to agricultural use||25.0%|
|N||Real property owned and operated by not-for ?profit organizations||12.0%|
|C||Real property used for commercial and industrial purposes||25.0%|
|O||All other rural and urban real property||30.0%|
|E||Tax exempt property||0.0%|
What is personal property?
The distinguishing characteristic of personal property is the ability to move it without damage to itself or to the real estate to which it is attached. Personal property becomes real property only if it is affixed in such a way that it loses its original physical characteristics and cannot practically be restored to its original condition.
Personal property may be leased, loaned, rented, consigned, or owned. The basic categories of personal property are generally: commercial machinery and equipment, mobile homes, heavy and non-highway motor vehicles, and marine and non-commercial property. Oil and gas wells are also considered personal property and a rendition must be turned in by the operator each year by April 1.
Who is to list property?
It is your responsibility to file this information with the county appraiser's office. Taxable personal property must be listed on or before March 15 of each year in the county where the property is sited. Oil and gas renditions must be filed by April 1 of each year. The rendition form is available from the Grant County Appraiser's Office; please call 620-356-3362 to receive a personal property assessment form. Forms can also be downloaded from the Kansas Department of Revenue website. An extension may be granted if the taxpayer submits a request in writing to the appraiser on or before the March 15 or April 1 filing date, stating just and adequate reasons for the extension. The county appraiser is required by law to apply a penalty to the assessed value of personal property that is not listed in a timely manner or that is not listed at all.
- K.S.A. 79-303: "Every person, association, company or corporation who shall own or hold, subject to his or her control, any tangible personal property shall list said property for assessment."
- K.S.A. 79-301: "All tangible personal property subject to taxation shall be listed and assessed as of the first day of January of each year in the name of the owner thereof."
|Date of Rendition Files||Penalty|
|March 16 - April 15||5%|
|April 16 - May 15||10%|
|May 16 - June 15||15%|
|June 16 - July 15||20%|
|On or after July 16||25%|
|Failure to file||50%|
Examples of Commercial & Individual Personal Property
These are not all inclusive. Any commercial item that is $1500 or less and can work independently of other equipment is exempted by law. Machinery and equipment acquired by qualified purchase or lease made or entered into after June 30, 2006 as a result of a bona-fide transaction not consummated for the purpose of avoiding taxation is exempt from taxation in Kansas.
|Owned or leased by an individual:||Commercial property owned or leased by a business:|
Note: Automobiles and most recreational vehicles are classed and taxed at the time of registration for license plates or renewal decal.
Royalty Tax Explanation
Factors considered when determining market value of oil and gas leasehold properties include past and present production history, current oil and gas prices, and remaining reserves. The State of Kansas publishes a guide that is followed to help in the determination of the market value of oil and gas. The formula is used to "determine today's benefit for future revenues discounted to present value."
The royalty tax statement is based upon your decimal royalty interest value in the lease. Royalty interest values are calculated using prior year production, therefore some year's taxes may appear high and way out of line when your income is down.
Gas wells may be shut in during the current year, but still have large reserves and are capable of producing a lot of gas, causing taxes to remain high with income down for the year.