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Appraiser FAQ

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How is the inherent productive capability determined for agricultural land?

According to K.S.A. 79-1476, "valuations shall be established for each parcel of land devoted to agricultural use upon the basis of the agricultural income or productivity attributable to the inherent capabilities of such land." "A classification system for all land devoted to agricultural use shall be adopted by the director of property valuation using criteria established by the United States Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service." That system, developed by the now Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), is the Soil Rating for Plant Growth (SRPG) index for each soil map unit. The SRPG (Soil Rating for Plant Growth) is a numerical rating system developed by NRCS soil scientists for non-irrigated cropland. The index is not tied to yields, which removes management variables. It is designed to rate each soil map unit based on its potential for supporting plant growth and indexed based on the soil's properties. The KIPI (Kansas Irrigated Productivity Index) is a numerical rating system for irrigated cropland developed by Department of Agronomy at Kansas State University in cooperation with NRCS. The KIPI is designed to rank the productivity of each soil map unit.

What is the repsonsibility of the county appraiser concerning agricultural land?

The county appraiser is responsible for discovering, listing, classifying, and valuing all taxable property within the county in accordance with the applicable state laws in a uniform and equal manner. However as it relates to agricultural land, the county appraiser does not value this type of property, but is responsible for listing each property's correct usage and acreage.

What are the different types of agricultural land?

Agricultural land is classified in the following usage categories:

  • Dry Cultivated Land
  • Irrigated Land
  • Tame Grassland
  • Native Grassland
What is the Capitalization Rate?

The capitalization rate is used to convert the landlord share of agricultural net income into an agricultural value. The following three components make up the capitalization rate:

  1. The five-year average of the Federal Land Bank interest rate on new loans in Kansas as of July 1 of each year.
  2. An "add on" of not less than .75% no more than 2.75% determined by the Director of Property Valuation. As of property tax year 2003, the capitalization rate shall not be less than 11% no more than 12% as mandated by the 2002 Kansas Legislature.
  3. The county average agricultural property tax rate. This accounts for property taxes on agricultural land as an expense.

The sum of these three components is the capitalization rate percentage that is divided into the landlord net income (LNI) to arrive at the agricultural value. The higher the capitalization rate, the lower the agricultural value. For example, a higher county average agricultural property tax rate (expense) means the final agricultural value will be lower (all other things being equal).

Why are values in some counties higher than those in surrounding counties?

Differences can be attributed to one or more of the following:

  • Crop mix (the major crops in a county)
  • Differences between landlord share of income and expense ratios
  • Different agricultural cap rate. For example, a county may have an extremely low agricultural cap rate due to an electrical power generating plant, which carries a large portion of the taxes.
  • Soil Type as established by the NRCS (National Resources Conservation Service).
How is the landlord net rental income determined for grassland?

The landowners share of gross rental income is based  on stocking rates (measurement of productivity) and cash rental rates developed from regional studies performed by Kansas Agricultural Statistics, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and Kansas State University. The landlord share of expenses are based on survey information collected by Kansas Agricultural Statistics and Kansas State University.
Expenses included are:

  • Fencing and fence maintenance
  • Pasture spraying, maintenance, and watering cost

The landlord share of gross rental income less the landlord share of expenses (including a 10% management fee) equals the landlord share of net rental income.

How is the landlord net income determined for dryland?

Using information from Kansas Agricultural Statistics, the landlord share of gross income is based upon the yields and prices of the primary crops grown in the county or region. Yields are based on planted acres and adjusted for summer fallow where applicable. Prices are based on monthly average price weighted by the amount crop sold per month. Each of the primary crops are then weighted within the county to determine crop composition or "crop mix". The landlord share of expenses are weighted by the crop mix factors within the county. The expense data is based on planted acres and survey information collected by Kansas Agricultural Statistics and Kansas State University. The landlord share of gross income less the landlord share of expenses (including a 10% management fee) equals the landlord net income. The eight year average of the landlord net incomes are capitalized into value.

How is the landlord net income determined for irrigated land?

Using information from Kansas Agricultural Statistics the landlord share of gross income is based on yields of primary crop harvested acres. Each of the primary crops is then weighted within the district to determine crop mix. The landlord share of expenses is based on planted acres and is also weighted within the district. Kansas Agricultural Statistics and Kansas State University collect the expense data. Expenses are also weighed by the crop mix. The landlord share of gross income less the landlord share of expenses (including a 10% management fee) equals the landlord net income. Well depths are taken into consideration through irrigation equipment and fuel pumping costs. A water ratio table is used to adjust for water limitations.

Counties in the east irrigate; why don't they have separate values?

These counties are in the one-acre-feet region of water, and irrigation is an insurance against dry periods. The irrigated values used in the east are a percentage increase of dry land values in the county and will change as dry land values in the county change.

Why is irrigation valued on a district basis?

It prevents massive value swings across county lines. It creates uniformity across county lines. Irrigation tends to lessen the effects of climate, allowing larger geographic areas to have approximately the same productivity.

Why is there still so much variability where the irrigation districts meet?

Variability can be attributed to differences in one or more of the following:

  • Crop mix
  • Ownership of the sprinkler
  • Ratio of flood and pivot acres in the district
  • District average yields
  • Landlord share of net income
  • County agricultural tax rates
  • Differences between counties in the 2 acre-feet region and counties in the 1.5 acre-feet region
What is a personal property worksheet and why do we have to turn one in every year?

Taxable personal property must be listed with the county appraiser on or before March 15th of each year in the county where the property has its tax situs. When March 15th falls on a day other than a regular business day, the rendition can be filed on the next business day.

Pursuant to K.S.A. 79-306, and amendments thereto, this statement must be signed by the personal property owner, or the person who is required by K.S.A. 79-303, and amendments thereto, to list personal property on behalf of the owner.  In addition, if this statement is prepared by a tax preparer, it must also be signed by the preparer, certifying that the statement is true and correct.  The penalty for late filing is 5% per month up to a max of 25%, penalty for failure to file is 50% (K.S.A. 79-301, 79-303, 79-306, 79-1422).

What is personal property?

Personal property is "...every tangible thing which is the subject of ownership, not forming part or parcel of real property." [K.S.A. 79-102]. The distinguishing characteristic of personal property is the ability to move it without damage to itself or to the real property to which it may be attached. Personal property becomes real property only if it is affixed in such a way that it closes its original physical characteristics and cannot practically be restored to its original condition.

Who needs to list personal property for taxation?

Every person, association, company or corporation who owns or holds, subject to his or her control, any taxable personal property is required by law to list the property for assessment. Personal property is listed for assessment on a tangible personal property assessment form (rendition).

What does the county appraiser do?

By law, the county appraiser is responsible for annually listing and appraising all taxable property within the jurisdiction in a uniform and equal manner. All property within the jurisdiction must be classified and valued according to Kansas law.

How does the county's appraisal affect taxes?

If a property value goes up, it does not necessarily mean the taxes will increase. Likewise, if a property value goes down or does not change, it does not automatically mean the taxes will decrease or remain the same. The amount of property taxes depends on the budgets set by local government, special assessments, and an amount distributed to public schools. Changes in property taxes are based in large part on how much the local government decides to spend on services each year. If values overall go up but local spending remains the same, the mill levy (tax rate) should be lower and therefore have little effect on the tax bill.

How is personal property appraised?

All personal property, except certain motor vehicles and commercial/industrial machinery and equipment, is appraised at its "market value" as of the first day of January each year. Market value is the amount of money a well-informed buyer would pay, and a well-informed seller would accept for property in an open and competitive market without any outside influence. Certain motor vehicles and commercial/industrial machinery and equipment are appraised using a value-based method; however, it is not "market value."

Do personal property values depreciate every year?

Personal property valued at market value does not necessarily depreciate each year. Market conditions, deterioration, improvements to the property, and other factors can affect the market value. Typically, personal property valued with a formula-driven value will depreciate each year, or until a minimum value is reached.

How does the county appraiser determine personal property values?

By law, the county appraiser must appraise all taxable personal property using publications and valuation guidelines prescribed by the State Division of Property Valuation. The county may deviate from a prescribed value, if it is "market-drive", in order to achieve market value. All deviations must be documented. [K.S.A. 79-1456]

How does the county appraiser discover taxable personal property?

The owners of taxable personal property are required by law to list their property each year with the county appraiser. When the owner does not list taxable property, the appraiser must discover the property and place it on the appraisal roll. Methods the county can use to discover taxable property within their jurisdiction include: accessing information from public records, viewing the property, obtaining information from lessees and others that are required to list property they do not own, but have in their possession or control. Refer to the "Discovery of Personal Property" section in this guide for more information. [K.S.A. 79-1411b]

When are taxpayers notified of the value of their personal property?

The personal property "notice of value" is sent to the property owner by May 1 each year. Failure to mail or receive the notice does not invalidate the classification or valuation.

What is the mill levy?

The mill levy is the tax rate that is applied to the assessed value of the property when calculating the property tax. In general terms, the mill levy is computed by dividing the dollars needed for local services by the taxable assessed value in the service area. In addition, the Unified School Districs of Kansas levy 20 mills for the school general fund. Capital outlay and local option budges are levied as necessary. After the local government budges are published and meetings are completed in August of each year, the county clerk computes the final mill levies for each tax unit and certifies the tax roll.

Who is responsible for the taxes due on personal property that was sold or purchased during the year?

Generally, the personal property tax is the responsibility of the owner of record on the date of the assessment, typically January 1 of each year. [K.S.A. 79-309]

Are personal property taxes pro-rated?

Personal property is generally not pro-rated onto the tax roll when it is acquired or off the tax roll when disposed of. The exceptions are motor vehicles, watercraft, and taxable personal property that becomes exempt during the tax year, or exempt personal property that no longer qualifies for exemption. [K.S.A. 79-306d; 79-306e & 32-1102; 79-213; 79-214]

What happens when a taxpayer does not list taxable personal property with the county?

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. County appraisers may grant an extension to file if a taxpayer submits a written request, on or before the March 15th deadline, which states just and adequate reasons for the extension. When an extension is granted and the taxpayer fails to file by the extended deadline, penalties are calculated from the March 15th deadline.

Mobile/Manufactured Homes used for residential purposes:

Mobile and manufactured homes are built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used a s dwelling, with or without a permanent foundation. Kansas law states that all mobile and manufactured homes are considered personal property unless:

  • The title to the home is in the same name of the person (or spouse of the person) who holds title to the land the home is located on, AND
  • The home is on a permanent foundation

Mobile and manufactured homes that are used for residential purposes are valued at their fair market value as of January 1 and assessed at a rate of 11.5%. Homes classified in the Mobile/Manufactured Homes subclass are not pro-rated onto or off of the tax roll.

When are oil and gas renditions due?

These renditions are due to the appraisers office by April 1 of each year.

Where can the oil and gas guide be found?

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