Understanding Real Property Appraisal
- Why is the appraisal necessary?
Kansas law establishes the method of appraisal used to determine a property owner's share of taxes needed to support schools, roads and bridges, noxious weed eradication, our hospital, fair, soil conservation, airport, elections, extension work, mental health, library, fire department, sheriff's department, health office, council on aging, ambulance, and historical society to name just a few. The county appraiser's office is responsible for listing and valuing property in a uniform and equal manner to help share the cost of these services. But the amount of taxes you pay depends on the budgets set by your governing bodies, such as those set by the state cities, county entities, and schools.
- How is an appraisal done?
The county appraiser's staff is required to visit your real estate property at least once every four years. First, they will try to visit with the owner to review the current information. Then an exterior inspection is done where they will look for changes, such as, adding on a room, a garage or a deck. They will verify the dimensions, checking for structural damage, and the property's current condition.
Back in the office, the appraiser's office uses computer-generated data to analyze the property based upon its age, size, and style of construction and replacement costs. Sale prices of similar properties are also analyzed.
- What determines the value used for tax purposes?
State law says your property will be appraised at "fair market value" as it exists on January 1st of each year. Market value is the amount of money a well-informed buyer would pay a well-informed seller in an open and competitive market.