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Office of the County Appraiser

Phone: 913-715-9000 | Fax: 913-715-0010

11811 S. Sunset Drive, Suite 2100, Olathe, Kansas 66061

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Appeal Process

Residential and Commercial Real Estate, and Personal Property

Note: For more info see the state's website "The Property Tax Appeals Process in Kansas"

Personal Property

Payment Under Protest


STEP 1 Filing an Appeal

~ Preparing for Residential, Commercial and Personal Property Appeals ~

To appeal or not to appeal?
If you believe your property is valued fairly but taxes are too high, an appeal probably won’t help. Instead you should attend the public hearings held by the governmental groups that set tax rates. Each invites public comment.

If you think the appraised value is more than you would reasonably get if you sold your property, you should consider an appeal. Remember the Appraiser is required to value all property at "fair market value." Reviewing real estate advertisements or visiting with real estate professionals can also provide helpful information about market conditions.

Is there help available?
The Appraiser’s Office staff can help you review and verify data on your property.

How do I file an appeal?
The Appraiser’s Office tries to make the process as simple as possible. The appeal form and instructions are on the back of the Notice of Appraised Value. You can even request an evening appointment or a telephone hearing (available on a limited basis).

 By law, you must file your appeal 30 days subsequent to the date of mailing of the valuation notice (K.S.A. 79-1448).

What happens after I appeal?
The first level of an appeal is the informal hearing. You are notified by mail at least 10 days prior of the date of the hearing.

Once you start this appeal, be sure to pursue it to your satisfaction. If you drop it, you cannot appeal later on the same property in the same tax year.

STEP 2 Preparing for a Real Property, Commercial or Personal Property Appeal

~ Preparing for a Residential Appeal ~

A property owner can prepare for an appeal hearing by reviewing the characteristics of the property as listed on the appraiser’s Property Record Card. Check the square footage of living area, number of baths, and bedrooms, lot size, garages, condition and etc.

Ask the Appraiser’s Office for a copy of the Comparable Sales Sheet and review the other properties listed on the document for differences in characteristics, size, location, style, etc.

If you feel that the sales listed on the comparable sales sheet are very different from your property, the Appraiser’s Office or a local real estate broker can make available the prices of actual sales of homes that have occurred in your subdivision or neighborhood.

Additional evidence that may help to support the value for your residential property is as follows:

  • A recent appraisal such as those done for a home or commercial loan or refinancing
  • A signed sales contract
  • Photographs of any structural damage; Copies of recent estimates for repairs along with photographs and
  • Data on recent sales in your area for property that is similar to their own.

 
~ Preparing for a Commercial Appeal ~

Property owners or their representative must bring information that will be helpful to the commercial appraiser to better understand why the property value should be lowered.

The following information should be provided:

  • Commercial Owner Occupied:
    • Three year operating expenses
    • Any sales contract or listing brochure
    • Evidence of differed maintenance, plus documented cost cure
    • Appraisals for purchase, financing or other reason
    • Studies to include Market Analysis or Highest and Best Use
    • For new construction – construction costs
    • For upgrades – cost of remodeling
       
  • Income Producing Properties:
    • Detailed rent roll
    • Lease abstract for new leases with detail on tenant improvements
    • Detailed three year income
    • Detailed three year expenses, itemized as to tenant and landlord obligations
    • Detailed three year expenses, itemized as to tenant and landlord obligations
    • Any sales contract or listing brochure
    • Rent information on any vacant space
    • Evidence of any differed maintenance, plus documented cost cure
    • Appraisals for purchase, financing or other reason
    • Studies to include Market Analysis or Highest and Best Use
    • For new construction – construction costs
    • For upgrades – cost of remodeling

Important Reminder: Property owners may appeal the valuation during the Informal Appeal process or Payment Under Protest when the tax bill is paid. If an Informal Appeal is filed, this is the only one available for the year (unless the property transfers ownership). If no appeal is filed at this time, the next alternative will be Payment Under Protest.

 ~ Preparing for a Personal Property Appeal ~

Property owners who feel that their classification or appraised value of their personal property is inaccurate may appeal on or before May 15. It is not required that property owners be represented by an agent or attorney, owners mat represent themselves.

Any property owner who intends to be represented by an agent must complete a "Declaration of Representative" or declaration form and return it to the County Appraiser prior to the date of the hearing. All forms are available through the County Appraiser's Office and the State Board of Tax Appeals.

NOTE: Property owners may appeal the value on their property only once during any tax year.

What else should I know?

The hearing is truly informal. It is an opportunity to meet with an appraiser and make sure the Appraiser's Office has the correct information and understands your concerns. Try to focus on the question, "Is your property appraised at fair market value?" In turn, we promise to do our job in a friendly, polite and fair way.

One of the common reasons residential property owners file an appeal is because they feel the property taxes are unaffordable due to living on a fixed income. State law does not allow appraisers any leeway to adjust appraised values based on a homeowners ability to pay but the state does offer assistance via the Homestead Refund.


STEP 3 The Appeal Process

In the Spring

There are two opportunities to appeal an appraised value. The first opportunity is in the spring when the Notices of Appraised Value are mailed to property owners.

The second time to appeal is by Payment Under Protest. Once the appeal process has started, it is best to follow through until satisfied. Once an appeal, is abandoned, paying under protest later for the same property and tax year cannot be done.

The form for an appeal is located on the back of the Spring Notice of Appraised Value (NOAV). There are three successive levels of appeals if an agreement is not reached at a previous level. Instructions for filing to the higher two State Board of Tax Appeals (BOTA) levels are enclosed with a property owners appeal results.

Level I: Informal Hearing

Informal Hearings are held in the County Sunset Drive Office Building, 11811 S. Sunset Drive, in Olathe, Kansas. Property owners meet at this location with an appraiser for approximately 20 minutes to discuss their property characteristics and fair market value.

The Informal Hearing is the first of three possible levels of appeal. By law, all owners have the right to appeal the appraised valuation of their property.

A written appeal must be filed 30 days subsequent to the date of mailing of the valuation notice (K.S.A. 79-1448). At this level, many property owners represent themselves. However, a representative may be designated by filing a declaration form.

During the informal hearing, appraisers will demonstrate why they believe the appraisal value is correct. Please come prepared to present evidence such as photographs of structural damage, estimates of repairs or other documentation.

For commercial appeals refer to the list of items under “Preparing for a Commercial Appeal” which is located on page 7.

Informal hearings are relaxed and are an opportunity to meet and discuss how property is valued.

All informal hearings are concluded typically by May 15 of each year and the results are mailed.

Level II: Small Claims Division of the State Board of Tax Appeals (BOTA)

Property owners have 30 days to appeal to the next level if they are not satisfied with the Informal Hearing results.

Owners of single-family residences, who wish to pursue their appeal, must go through the Small Claims Division.

Owners of commercial property, valued at less than $3 million, may choose to go to Small Claims or the regular division of BOTA.

Property valued at more than $3 million is handled by the regular division of BOTA.

All agricultural property is handled by the regular division of BOTA. In an intermediate appeal, property owners must go through the Small Claims Division to meet with a hearing officer hired by the state (less formal than the Regular Division of BOTA appeals). In either case, the time, date and location will be mailed by the state. Hearings may be held in the county where the property is located or in an adjacent county.

Remember to bring evidence relevant to the appeal. Extra copies are not required since the Small Claims Division does not maintain files. The role of the hearing officer is to listen to information (and ask questions) presented by property owners and an appraiser during a 20 - 30 minute hearing. A decision will be mailed to property owners by the State of Kansas within 30 days of the hearing. Along with the hearing results, information on how to pursue your appeal to the third level will be provided. Property owners have 30 days to file the next appeal.

Level III: Regular Division of BOTA 

The Regular Division of the Board of Tax Appeals will mail to property owners, information regarding the date, time and location of a hearing. Hearings are held in Topeka, Kansas. At this stage of the appeal process property owners are often represented by attorneys.

All evidence planned for use must be submitted to the county appraiser 10 days in advance of the hearing.

Members of the State Board of Tax Appeals are appointed by the governor of the State of Kansas and are independent of the appraiser and the county. One or more court members will attend your hearing.

All parties and witnesses are sworn in or given an oath of affirmation and the proceedings include a court reporter or audio taping.

Appraisers from the county will make their presentation. Then property owners are given sufficient time to ask questions and present their case to the court. The board representatives may direct questions to either party. Typically, 30 minutes are allotted for the hearing but BOTA can extend the time limit at their discretion.

The state will mail hearing results to property owners within 30-60 days. The County Appraiser’s Office enters any change in value ordered by BOTA and notifies the County Treasurer. If there is a reduction in valuation that results in a tax refund, it will be issued by the office of Treasury and Financial Management.

Note: Property owners have a second opportunity to appeal in the fall. See Paying Taxes Under Protest (PUP), on page 10 under Tax Bill Information.


Personal Property Appeals

~ Appealing your Personal Property Appraisal ~

If you feel the classification or appraised value of your personal property is inaccurate, you may appeal on or before May 15. As a convenience to the property owner, the form for an appeal is on the back of the value notice.

  1. Informal Appeal: The first step in the appeal process is to file the appeal form with the County Appraiser's Office. You will be notified of the time and date for an informal meeting with the appraiser. If you are not satisfied with the results of this meeting, you may appeal to the Hearing Officer Panel.

    It is not required that property owners be represented by an agent or attorney; owners may represent themselves. Any property owner who intends to be represented by an agent (any person other than the owner of the property , their family members or their attorney) must complete a "Declaration of Representative" form and return it to the County Appraiser prior to the date of the hearing. All forms are available through the County Appraiser's Office and the Board of Tax Appeals.
     

  2. State Board of Tax Appeals: When you receive the results of the informal appeal, you will also receive instructions on how to file an appeal to the next level -- the State Board of Tax Appeals. You have 30 days to file. Again, the state will send notices of date and location of your hearing. All evidence must be submitted to the county appraiser 20 days in advance of the hearing. Members of the State Board of Tax Appeals are hired by the State of Kansas and one or more of them will attend your hearing. Usually 30 minutes are allotted for the hearing, and results will be mailed to you within about 30-45 days. This hearing is much like the Hearing Officer Panel.

    NOTE: Property owners may appeal the value on their property only once during any tax year. In the Fall and Winter.

    Once Records & Tax Administration completes the calculation of assessed values and mill levies (tax rates), the county Treasurer issues tax bills for payment. Tax bills are mailed to property owners and mortgage companies.


Paying Taxes Under Protest

In the fall

Property owners who believe their tax bill was calculated incorrectly or the property value used by the appraiser is not correct should file a Payment Under Protest (PUP). However, if the thought is, “My taxes are just too high”, a PUP may not help. As referenced on page 2 of the County Appraiser’s cover letter, taxing jurisdictions hold public hearings in the summer to receive ideas from property owners regarding budgets and the cost to provide public service.

Property owners who wish to pay their taxes under protest must contact the County Treasurer for the appropriate protest form. PUP forms can be retrieved online via their Website at: http://www.jocogov.org/dept/treasury-and-financial-management/home....

The PUP document must be completed and submitted to the County office of Treasury and Financial Management when the payment is made.

The Appraiser's Office will contact property owners with a date and time concerning their hearing and to discuss the valuation of their property only. Other taxation issues will be directed to BOTA.

Property owners who have not had a meeting with the County Appraiser on the valuation of their property for the same tax year may file a PUP.

Please carefully read and follow the instructions precisely to ensure a successful appeal.

NOTE: 

If the PUP document is received in the Treasury and Financial Management Office unsigned it will be considered invalid and returned. The delay may jeopardize your chances for a hearing.

Complete the PUP form and file a copy with the County Treasury and Financial Management Office between November 1 and December 20 with your payment.

If at least one-half (1/2) of the taxes are paid by an escrow agent, a protest of the taxes must be filed no later than the following January 31.

If taxes are paid after these deadlines, any protest of the taxes must be filed at the time the taxes are paid.

Please keep a copy of the PUP form. The PUP document must be used to file a protest with BOTA if unsatisfied with the county's decision.

The County Appraiser’s office contacts property owners to schedule an informal meeting once the County Treasurer forwards the protest. It may be several weeks before property owners are notified of their appeal date.

The PUP hearing with an appraiser is just like the informal appeals that are held in the spring. Please follow the same general guidelines for preparing for this hearing.

If a PUP is filed on the basis of an illegal tax levy (K.S.A. 79-2005), an appendix must be completed and attached to the PUP form.

PUP forms are mailed by the County Treasurer to BOTA. No informal hearing will be held with the Appraiser in the case of illegal tax levy protests. Note: See pages 6-7 (How to Prepare for a Real Property Appeal) regarding what evidence to bring for a commercial or residential appeal hearing.

If you are successful in your appeal and your paid taxes are reduced, a refund will be issued upon the Treasurer receiving a correction from the County Appraiser's Office. If there is still a second half balance due, that amount will be reduced and no refund will be made.