Today, Johnson County Appraiser Paul Welcome announced his upcoming retirement after nearly three decades in the position. Welcome was first appointed in 1991 by the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). He manages a staff of nearly 90 employees and maintains the valuation and records for approximately 220,000 parcels with a 2019 valuation of approximately $86 billion. His last day at the county will be June 14, 2019.
“I have really enjoyed working for what I feel is the best county in the nation,” said County Appraiser Paul Welcome. “I’ve decided to retire to focus on health and travel.”
“Being a county appraiser presents ongoing challenges, and Paul has been very diligent in following the state’s statutory requirements and meeting those state rules for valuing property,” said Chairman Ed Eilert, Johnson County Board of County Commissioners. “He has done a very good job in a challenging position.”
Since Welcome’s arrival in 1991, Johnson County has been in statistical compliance of appraised values each year by the State of Kansas Property Valuation Division. Additionally, the County Appraiser's Office has received national recognition from the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO), the National Association of Counties (NACO) and the City, County, Communication and Marketing Association (3CMA).
Next steps for Johnson County
Even though, by statute, the Board of County Commissioners is responsible for appointing the county appraiser, the county appraiser actually performs the professional duties and responsibilities under the direction of the Kansas State Director of Property Valuation, following the standards and guidelines prescribed by Kansas statutes and utilizing professional appraisal standards and practices. The BOCC has reappointed Welcome every four years, most recently in June of 2017.
The BOCC will soon make decisions on the search process for the next county appraiser. The topic is expected to be discussed at the April 11 Board of County Commissioners meeting.
To be qualified as a county appraiser per state statute, candidates must have at least three years of mass appraisal experience and be qualified as an eligible Kansas appraiser, among other requirements prescribed by statute.
Paul Welcome’s background and accomplishments
Prior to joining Johnson County, from 1980 until 1991 Welcome worked in the valuation field in Austin and Abilene, Texas as Deputy Chief Appraiser, Fee Appraiser, Associate Director for Valuations, and Administrator of Appraisal Services.
Welcome has won many awards and is internationally recognized in his field. He holds a Certified Assessment Evaluator (CAE) designation from the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO), is an Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA) by the American Society of Appraisers, and a Registered Mass Appraiser (RMA) for the State of Kansas. On June 30, 2009, he became an eminent Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (FRICS). In 2018, Welcome was in the initial class of the IAAO Fellows Program.
Welcome is a past president of the IAAO (2002-2003) and since 1995 has served on various IAAO committees, in addition to receiving numerous awards with the most recent: the IAAO Verne W. Pottorff, CAE Professional Designee of the Year (September of 2012).
After performing in various capacities with The Appraisal Foundation Board of Trustees since 2004, in 2009 Welcome was elected as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Appraisal Foundation which commenced on January 1, 2009. In May of 2012, he was awarded The Appraisal Foundation Chairman's Award.
Welcome is active as a senior facilitator for the IAAO and has worked as an instructor and consultant for the Valuations Offices in London, England and the Valuations Lands Agency in Belfast, Northern Ireland. In the past, Welcome was an Adjunct Instructor for the University of Missouri-Kansas City at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management teaching a graduate program course on Entrepreneurial Management in real estate. He remains an active IAAO Senior Instructor.
Welcome’s community contributions include serving as chair of the “Jazz in the Woods” concert in 2007 and as President of the Leawood South Homes Association. He is a past president of the Overland Park South Rotary Club.
Born in Dayton, Ohio, he attended Bowling Green State University, where he received his undergraduate and graduate degrees. After achieving a Master’s degree in Business Administration, Welcome entered the United States Air Force and served as a pilot.