Kansas Property Taxes
Overview of Kansas Property Taxes
If you own property in the state of Kansas, you are required to pay property taxes every year. As is the case with most states, Kansas property taxes are administered by local governments. They are used to fund city and county government services like public schools, fire protection, law enforcement, and parks among others. The state and its local governments collect $26.7 billion in revenue every year. Of that, $4.4 billion comes from property taxes.
Kansas is generally a high tax state and the average homeowner pays $13.59 for every $1,000 of home value in property taxes. The average Kansas property tax bill adds up to $2,135 although it varies from county to county. For instance, homeowners in Butler County pay $2,539 compared to $947 for homeowners in Barber County.
How do Kansas property taxes work? It starts with County Appraisers placing a value on your property as of January 1. Property is appraised at its "market value" or the money the property would sell for in the open market. County appraisers are required to reevaluate the value of your property annually by considering comparable sales of similar units and other factors like changes made to your property. Additions made to your property, for instance, a swimming pool increases its value.
While Kansas property taxes are based on your property's appraised value, the tax rates are applied to the assessed value. The state of Kansas requires that properties be assessed at 11.5% of their appraised/market value. If, for instance, your property has an appraised value of $150,000, the assessed value will be (0.115 x $150,000) $17,250. Kansas property tax rates are applied to that figure. Both the appraised and assessed values will be on your annual "Notice of Value" which is sent to homeowners by March 1. Kansas property tax rates are expressed in "mill levies" where each mill levy is equal to $1 for every $1000 of assessed value. If, for instance, your property has an assessed value of $50,000 and the local taxing district has a mill levy of 20, your Kansas property tax bill will add up to (0.02 x $50,000) $1,000.
If you are planning to buy a home in Kansas and want to understand how much your property tax bill could potentially cost, check out our Kansas Property Tax Tool to see what your bill would be.
Kansas Property Tax Due Dates
Properties in the state of Kansas are valued as of January 1 of every year. Change of Value Notices are sent to homeowners by March 1. You can appeal property taxes if you have reasons to believe your property was over-appraised. The first step is raising your objections with your local County Appraiser. The appraiser may accept or reject your objections based on the evidence provided. If you disagree with the appraiser, you must file an official appeal with the Court's Small Claims Division within 30 days of receiving your Notice of Value. Decisions by the Court's Small Claims Division can be appealed to the Kansas Court of Tax Appeals.
But when are property taxes due in Kansas? The state allows homeowners to pay property taxes in two installments. The first half is due on December 20 while the second installment is due on May 10. Homeowners receive their tax bills on or before December 15th. Failure to receive a tax bill doesn't excuse you from paying Kansas property taxes. If you don't receive your tax bill by the end of November, contact your County Treasurer so you can receive a duplicate statement. Taxes are payable to the County Treasurer via personal checks, money orders, cashier checks, and cash.
Taxes that remain unpaid by Kansas property tax due dates result in penalties. Penalties are calculated at a rate of 10% on the taxes due if you pay after the due date but within 60 days of the original due date. If paid after 60 days of the original due date, the penalty is computed at a rate of 25%. If the Kansas property taxes remain unpaid after three years, they are referred to the Legal Department for foreclosure action where you can lose the property altogether in a public auction.
Kansas Property Tax Exemptions
Besides the option to appeal property taxes if you disagree with the County Appraiser's valuation of your property, the state of Kansas provides several exemptions to eligible homeowners. They include the senior and homestead exemptions. Beneficiaries of these exemptions can reduce their Kansas property tax bill. However, you are still subject to Kansas property tax due dates regardless of your eligibility for these exemptions.
Kansas Homestead Exemption
Kansas' homestead exemption allows you to protect an unlimited amount of your home value against creditors in case of bankruptcy. Under the exemption, homeowners living within city limits can protect up to one acre of property and up to 160 acres of farmland for those living outside city limits. However, the exemption does not protect your home from tax debts or debts acquired while making changes to the property. Additionally, the exemption has no bearing on the accrual of Kansas property taxes.
Kansas Senior Citizens Exemption
Kansas' senior exemption is also known as the Safe Senior Tax Relief Claim. Under this provision, eligible homeowners are refunded 75% of the Kansas property taxes paid. To qualify, you must be at least 65 years, have lived in the state for the entire year you are applying for the exemption, and meet certain income limit requirements. Additionally, your property's appraised value cannot exceed $350,000.
Other Kansas property tax exemptions include the disabled veterans' exemption which provides a property tax refund for disabled veterans for amounts of up to $700. The veteran has to have been honorably discharged from service, be a Kansas resident, and be using the property as their primary residence. Additionally, the veteran has to be 50% disabled as a result of military service. More information about this and more exemptions can be found on the Kansas Department of Revenue's website.
How to Appeal Your Property Taxes in Kansas
The state of Kansas allows you to appeal property taxes if you have reasons to believe that the appraiser's valuation of your property does not reflect its market value. The appeal process starts by contacting the County Appraiser within 30 days of receiving your Notice of Valuation. The meeting with the appraiser is informal and an opportunity for you to examine the appraiser's documentation of value. If there is still a difference of opinion, you can file your appeal with the Court's Small Claims Division. Alternatively, you can bypass the Small Claims Division and appeal directly to the Kansas Court of Tax Appeals.
The process of filing an assessment appeal varies across Kansas though it generally follows the same steps from county to county:
- Obtain your assessment
- Determine if you are overassessed
- Complete forms needed to appeal
- File property tax appeal
- Prepare for hearing
- Attend hearing
- Appeal the decision
How to Appeal Your Property Taxes in Johnson County
To better understand how to appeal property taxes in Kansas, here is a breakdown of the process in Johnson County, the most populous county in Kansas.
Obtain your assessment
Your Notice of Valuation has all the details of the assessment. Alternatively, you can consult the County Appraiser's office.
Determine if you are over-assessed
To successfully appeal your property taxes, you have to determine if the appraiser's valuation of your property is above its market value. You can use TaxProper's search tool to examine the sales of similar units within your locality and compare them to the appraised value placed on your property.
Complete forms needed to appeal
The forms you need to appeal property taxes will be provided to you at the County Appraiser's office.
File property tax appeal
Property tax appeals in Johnson County can be filed with Court's Small Claims Division within 30 days of receiving your tax bill or Notice of Valuation.
Prepare for hearing
Preparation for an appeal hearing includes presenting evidence showing the appraiser overvalued your property. This can include comparable sales of similar property, costs of repairing structural damage, and a recent appraisal of your property. However, unlike the case with many states, the appraiser is not presumed to be correct and must also justify the valuation.
The Small Claims Division requires you to attend the property tax appeal hearing. However, you can also be represented by a certified public accountant, certified appraiser, certified public accountant, or a member of your immediate family. However, you must file a "Declaration of Representation" form with the Kansas Board of Tax Appeals (BOTA).
Appeal the decision
Decisions by the Small Claims Division can be appealed to the Court of Tax Appeals within 30 days of receiving the decisions.
Property Tax Information for Kansas Counties
The table below provides county-level information about how property taxes work in each Kansas county.
Want to learn more? Click the county links to learn more about a specific Kansas county.
|County||Average Home Value||Average Tax Bill||Bill per $1,000|