Residents facing double digit increases in home value seek answers on appraisal process, appeals at NEJC town hall

Representatives of the Johnson County Appraiser’s Office on Wednesday fielded questions from northeast Johnson County residents — many frustrated by double-digit increases in their home values — at the first of two town halls hosted by the NEJC Chamber and the Shawnee Mission Post.

Here’s a summary of some of the top questions posed by attendees and the Appraiser’s Office representatives’ answers. At the bottom of the post is a copy of the presentation the Appraiser’s Office gave at the start of the town hall, as well as video of the question and answer session:

How does my home’s appraised value relate to what I pay in property taxes, and when will I see changes in how much I’m paying if my home increased in value this year?

The value set by the Appraiser’s Office each year serves as the basis by which several entities in Johnson County assess property taxes.

For example, a Prairie Village homeowner, will pay property taxes to:

  • the city of Prairie Village
  • Consolidated Fire District No. 2 (the fire department)
  • the Shawnee Mission School District
  • Johnson County Government
  • the Johnson County Library
  • the Johnson County Park and Recreation District
  • Johnson County Community College
  • and to the state of Kansas.

Those entities have governing bodies that set their own property tax rates — or mill levies — each year. Under this year’s tax rates, about 44 percent of total property taxes for Prairie Village homeowners go to the school district. About 16 percent each goes to the city of Prairie Village and to Johnson County Government. About 8 percent goes to Johnson County Community College.

The Johnson County Appraiser’s Office does not have any control over the property tax rates set by the various taxing entities.

“This process is outside the county appraiser’s office,” said County Appraiser Paul Welcome. “It’s actually in the governing bodies. Your commissioners and/or your councilmembers or your board members with the school boards are really the ones responsible for that.”

Under state law, governing bodies must submit their proposed property tax rate for the coming year to the county by August.

If a governing body chooses to hold its property tax rate steady in its 2019 budget, then homeowners who saw their appraised values increase this year would start to be assessed higher property taxes for the 2019 cycle.

If I want to appeal my home’s appraised value, what are the steps I need to take?

There is an appeal form on the back of the valuation notices that hit area mailboxes a couple weeks ago.

People who want to start an appeal must fill out that form and mail it to the Appraiser’s Office by March 28. The county will respond to those requests with a letter setting a date and time for an appeals hearing. The hearings can be conducted in person or over the phone.

All of the hearings will be conducted prior to May 15. The county will inform people who appeal of whether the county appraiser will adjust their value or not by May 20.

 What percent of appeals are successful?

Historically, about 50 percent of homeowners who submit appeals will see an adjustment in their appraised value.

“Now whether that’s a large or small amount, I don’t know how much the adjustment is,” Welcome said.

What information do I need to have to present to the Appraiser’s Office if I want to argue for a lower value?

When considering whether to adjust a home’s value or not, the Appraiser’s Office will consider:

  • Recent appraisals conducted by a third party
  • Incorrect property characteristics, like square footage or the number of bedrooms, in the county’s appraisal model.
  • Estimated repair costs not factored into the appraisal. For example, a homeowner who knows their property needs significant foundation work could submit an estimate for the repair as evidence that the property has been overvalued.

People who want to argue that their valuation should be lower on account of a dated interior should be prepared to submit photos to the Appraiser’s Office, Welcome said.

Below is the presentation the office gave at the start of the town hall, which includes an overview of the real estate market trends that have prompted the valuation spikes in many neighborhoods.

Video of the town hall is at the bottom of the post.

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PV town hall with county appraisers in 2018 home values

Posted by Shawnee Mission Post on Wednesday, March 7, 2018