The county appraiser is responsible for discovering, listing, and valuing all property within Cowley County in an equal and uniform manner. The appraiser must follow state laws when meeting these responsibilities. Each year the appraiser must review recent real estate sales and considers local economic conditions in determining the fair market value of the property, as it exists January 1. Market value is the amount of money a well informed buyer would pay and an informed seller would accept for property in an open and competitive market without any outside influence.
Collection of Information
The first step in the appraisal process is to gather information on:
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 county appraiser is required to equitably value all property in the county according to current Kansas law. The actual value assigned to residential properties is based on market value as of January 1 of the current year. To determine the market value, the appraiser studies sales of properties that occurred during the previous three years. Those sales are an indication the market conditions in various parts of Cowley 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.
Changes made to maintain your property's current value such as painting your home, replacing the roof, replacing the hot water heater, or making repairs does not necessarily increase the value of the property. However, if these tasks were not performed, the condition of the home would deteriorate which would 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 six year period.
New Construction & 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 statues, 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 (CVN) Notice. Deadlines for appeal are set by Kansas Law and are enforced.
This change of value 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.
Setting Your Values
Prior to starting an appeal you should consider reviewing information used in setting your value. This can be accomplished in several ways, but a visit to our office is the first step. You can find out how your property was valued and what comparable sales were considered in setting your values. Once property owners see information and a picture of the comparable sales, generally no appeal is made. By doing the first you may be able to save yourself a great deal of time and expense. Typically values are published March 1 each year for the current year and “Change in Value” notices are mailed to all real estate property owners, even if the value is unchanged from the prior year.