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The Appraisal Process
The Appraisal Process
The appraisal process involves setting standards for fair and equitable values, discovering and listing information about properties, and determining property values. Values are then analyzed to ensure that they meet the standards of fair assessment, and then certifying the total valuation of the County to the County Clerk.
Collection of Information
The first step in the appraisal process is to gather information on ownership, location, type of use, sales, building measurement, construction type, construction costs, and rental income. Primary sources for this information are real property deeds, subdivision maps, building permits, local building contractors, and office personnel who conduct on-site inspections to gather land and building characteristics. This information is stored, updated, and maintained by the County Appraiser for current and future use in the assessment process.
Appraisal / Estimating Value
The actual value assigned to residential properties is based on the market value as of January 1st of the current year. The Appraiser studies the sales of residential properties that have occurred during the previous 3 years. Those sales are an indication of the market conditions in various parts of McPherson County and the market value of specific types of properties.
For most non-residential properties, comparable sales information, construction, costs, depreciation, and the income approach to value are considered.
Changes Affecting Property Values
A property’s value may alter over time.
An addition of a garage, family room, bedroom, etc, or extensive remodeling or modernization could increase the value. Property values may fluctuate due to the local economy. Likewise, the economy of the entire community could affect the market value of your property negatively or positively.
Maintaining your property by painting, replacing the roof or water heater, or making repairs does not necessarily increase the value of the property. However, deferred maintenance and deterioration could cause the market value to decrease.
State statutes require that all properties be physically inspected and re-measured by an appraiser at least once in a 6 year period.
New construction and corrections
For each parcel of land, improvements such as buildings, must be measured and described through an on-site inspection. This helps insure that all new construction and/or changes to existing improvements are discovered and errors corrected.
Under Kansas statutes, all real property is valued annually.
Change of Valuation Notice
Each year on or before March 1, the County Appraiser is required to send you a Change of Valuation Notice. Deadlines for appeal are set by Kansas law and are enforced.
This notice describes the property you own, gives the actual values for both the prior and current year, and provides you an opportunity to present your objection to the Appraiser. When you receive a change of value notice, study it carefully. The value shown on the notice affects the amount of taxes you will pay the following December.
How to Appeal
If you feel the value the Appraiser has placed on your property is incorrect, you may wish to inspect the Appraiser’s records on your property. If you choose to file an appeal, you should provide information and documentation to support your estimate of value. Information such as a recent independent appraisal, recent sales of similar homes in your neighborhood, similar homes that are currently on the market or a written estimate from a real estate professional will all lend support and credibility to your opinion of value.
The State of Kansas uses a self-reporting system for personal property.
In January of each year the County Appraiser’s office mails out personal property renditions to individual taxpayers and businesses that reported personal property in the past. If a taxpayer does not receive a rendition but has an item of personal property, such as a boat that needs to be rendered, they should contact the County Appraiser’s office and a rendition will be mailed to them.
It is the duty of the appraiser to value all property identified as of tax day – January 1 of each year. This involves first determining if the property is taxable. Unless specifically exempted by the State of Kansas or by the State Board of Tax Appeals, all tangible assets, land and buildings and personal property in the state are taxable. Once the owner of the property is identified through the inventory process, the property must then be accurately valued at its “fair market value”.
An important thing to remember is that appraisers do not create value. People determine value by their by transactions in the market place. The appraiser simply has the legal responsibility to analyze those transactions and appraise individual properties based on what is happening in the market place.