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All property owners have the right to appeal the appraised value of their (real estate) property, but, by law, they must notify the appraiser's office within 30 days of the mailing of their valuation notice.
If you believe your property is valued fairly, but taxes are too high, an appeal probably won't help you. Instead, you should attend the public hearings held by the local governmental groups about their budgets that set tax rates. Each group invites public comment.
If you think the appraised value is more than you could reasonably get if you sold your home, you should consider an appeal. Remember, Kansas law requires the appraiser to determine "fair market value" when appraising your property. If you are uncertain of your property value, you can review real estate advertisements for properties similar to yours and real estate professionals can provide you with information about the current market.
If you believe the appraiser's office has incorrect or incomplete information about your property, you may want to appeal.
By calling the appraiser's office, you can request a list of the data of your own property and a list of comparable sales used to value your property. Remember, however, that state law only allows the appraiser's office to release sales information about property to those who are considering an appeal.
The appraiser's office will be glad to help you review and verify your property data.
If you are considering an appeal, ask to see the sales book that can help you compare your appraised value with other properties that have sold. But, as you compare the properties, remember to check for those similar in size, age and style to your property.
The Morton County Appraiser's Office tries to make the process as simple as possible. The appeal form and instructions are included with the Annual Valuation Notice or you can call the appraiser's office and request a hearing. You can even indicate if you require an evening or early morning appointment or a telephone hearing.
By law, you must appeal within 30 days of the date your valuation notice was mailed.
You are notified (by mail) of a date and time of the informal hearing which is held at the Morton County Courthouse.
The informal hearing held in the appraiser's office takes about 20 minutes. You can designate someone to represent you if you wish by filing a declaration. However, owners usually represent themselves at this level.
It is important to prepare specific reasons and documentation showing why you feel your property is not appraised at fair market value.
For example, bring:
The hearing is very informal so don't be nervous or confrontational. Just consider the hearing an opportunity to make sure the appraiser's office has the correct information and understands your concerns. We promise to do our job in a friendly, efficient, and polite way.
"The salient characteristic of personal property is its movability without damage, either to itself or to the real estate to which it is attached." Personal property becomes real property only if it is affixed in such a way that it loses its original physical character and cannot practically be restored to its original condition.
Personal property may be leased, loaned, rented, consigned, or owned. The basic categories of personal property are generally: furniture, fixtures, plant equipment, office equipment, machinery, boats, motors, and trailers, aircraft, mobile homes and recreational vehicles.
Oil and gas wells are also considered personal property and a rendition must be turned in by the operator each year.
If item is $250 or less and can work independently of other equipment, it is exempted by law.
Automobiles and most recreational vehicles are classed and taxed at the time of registration for license plates or renewal decal.
The valuation of commercial personal property begins with the cost of the item. Items are valued according to their historic purchase price when new or the used purchase price and the appropriate economic life of the item is applied. The asset is then depreciated over its economic life to a remaining base or salvage value.
After December 31, 1995, any qualifying item of commercial personal property with original cost of $250 or less is exempt. Please continue to list the items on your rendition as usual and the appraiser's office will determine if the item qualifies for this exemption.
The appropriate economic lives that are assigned to commercial items come from guidelines issued by the State of Kansas, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) publications and Marshall and Swift Valuation Services.
Businesses are also required to report any leased equipment they use. Listing the name and address of the leasing company is very helpful to the county appraiser so the item gets filed under the correct name.
Many personal property items belong to individuals are valued from market data. *Guidelines are provided by the State of Kansas to help establish market value as well as market data that is collected from our region. This market data is then used to establish the current value of a particular item along with it's age and condition. Oil and gas are also valued with the use of a guide published by the State of Kansas.
*Automobiles, light trucks and motorcycles are classed separately by the State of Kansas.
K.S.A. 79-303: "Every person, association, company or corporation who shall own or hold, subject to his or her control, any tangible personal property shall list said property for assessment."
K.S.A. 79-301: "All tangible personal property subject to taxation shall be listed and assessed as of the first day of January of each year in the name of the owner thereof."
Remember: It is your responsibility to file this information with the county appraiser's office. If you own any tangible personal property with the intent to establish and/or operate a business (including a home based business), or if you own any recreational property or vehicles not taxed at the time of registration, or mobile homes not on a permanent foundation, you must file a rendition with the county appraiser's office. The rendition form is available from the Morton County Appraiser's Office located in the County Courthouse in Elkhart.
To receive a rendition, you may write to:P.O. Box 1430Elkhart, KS 67950-1430
You can also call 620-697-2106, where Willena Boaldin, Morton County Personal Property Clerk will be glad to assist you.
If you fail to meet the 30-day deadline for filing an appeal, state law gives you another option. You may file your taxes under protest by requesting a protest application when paying the first half of your taxes. For information, please contact either the office of the treasurer or the appraiser. State law states that you can only have one appeal annually. However, if you have an informal appeal, you cannot file your taxes under protest in the same year.
If you appealed and are still dissatisfied with the results of the informal hearing, you may appeal to the next level, the State Board of Tax Appeals. For more information see the Understanding Appeal Hearing page.
The credit is 15% of the personal property tax paid on qualified machinery and equipment.
"Qualifying machinery and equipment" means machinery and equipment required to be listed for property taxation on Schedule 2, Schedule 5, or Schedule 6 by a for-profit business required to file an income tax, privilege tax, or insurance company premiums tax credit.
Schedule 2 Property: Prescribed and/or itemized machinery and equipment used in mineral leasehold interests, including diesel engines, drilling rigs, electric motors, line piping, mud pumps, water injection pumps, oil separators, oil well tubing pumps, pumping jacks, service units, and tanks.
Schedule 5 Property: Commercial and industrial machinery and equipment, including cash registers, computers, construction equipment, fixtures, furniture, gas pumps, manufacturing equipment, medical equipment, signs, trailers and other tangible personal property used in a business.
Schedule 6 Property: All other business related tangible personal property not elsewhere classified, such as spare parts.
Items that do not qualify for the credit include motor vehicles, personal property owned by a public utility, and property not used for a business purpose.
For tax year 1998, only the 1998 personal property tax timely paid in 1998 may be used for this credit. The balance of your 1997 personal property tax paid in 1998, and any delinquent taxes do not qualify for the credit.
For 1999 and subsequent tax years, the personal property tax timely paid in the tax year on business machinery and equipment is the basis for the credit. For example: For tax year 1999, you may use the last half of 1998 taxes paid by June 20, 1999, and also the 1999 taxes paid by December 20, 1999.
Any business owner paying personal property tax on qualified machinery and equipment is eligible for the credit. This includes:
To obtain Schedule K-64, call the Kansas Department of Revenue's voice mail forms request line at 785-296-4937. For more information on this tax credit, please contact the Kansas Department of Revenue offices listed or visit their website. Contact your county officials for information or assistance in determining the amount of personal property taxes paid on commercial and industrial machinery and equipment.
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.
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.
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.
The value of your property can change each year depending on several things. If you made any improvements, such as adding a room or garage, the value will probably go up.
If a major structural problem develops, such as a foundation crack that is visible from the outside or pointed out at the time of the appraiser's visit, the value may go down.
A downtrend in sales of similar properties can also affect your value. If sales are rising, property values will also rise. The appraiser's office monitors sales within the county continually throughout the year.
The first of March each year, the appraiser's office mails valuation notices to the owners of all real property (real estate). This valuation notice lists current and previous year's values.
Begin by checking the "classification" on your valuation notice to make sure the use of your property is correct (ex: RU or FR for residential, CU or CR for commercial, AR for agriculture ect.) Next, compare the current and previous year's values. Does the appraised value appear to be close to the price you would consider reasonable if you were to sell your property? If so, the appraiser has done the job the state requires.
You should also consider whether you have made any changes to the property. Have there been any improvements that could increase the value of your property if you were to sell it? Are there any major structural problems that might not be easily seen from the exterior? Remember, however, general maintenance usually does not affect value.
According to Kansas State Law, farmland is valued according to its current use. Yearly, the Property Valuation Department in Topeka issues values for each soil mapping unit in the county and these values are applied to your land by the county appraiser. The county appraiser does the yearly review to see if you have made any changes in your farming practices (ex: Flood has one to sprinkled or dry land to irrigated, etc...). The operator or owner of the land is requested to fill out an agriculture use form whenever there is a change.
All property owners have the right to appeal the valuation of their property. By law, however, you must notify the appraiser's office within 30 days of the mailing of the valuation notice.
You may also contact the appraiser's office for a list of properties similar to yours along with the data about your own property for comparison. If you are considering an appeal, you can review the sales book of properties in the same class as your own by visiting the appraiser's office.
Contact County Fire Chief Larry Dunn. 620-629-0966
Contact the Count Clerk's office or call the Department of interest directly to get an application.
Please direct any water/sanitation concerns to the City. 697-2171
Contact the County Clerk's Office 697-2157
Small Claims Court was established to provide a simple, informal procedure for people to settle certain legal problems cheaply and quickly. In Small Claims Court, you can sue someone or be sued by someone, and you present your side of the case yourself. You cannot be represented by a lawyer. This court handles only fairly simple cases involving small amounts of money or property.
The purpose of providing this information is to help you decide whether or not you should use the Kansas Small Claims Court to solve a problem, and to help you understand how the court works. Please remember that procedures vary somewhat from county to county in the state. Always check with your District Court Clerk's office first to be sure you have all of the correct information before taking action in Small Claims Court.
Consumers should remember that even though they may win their case in Small Claims Court, the court cannot guarantee and is not responsible for collection. Appeals of Small Claims must be filed in District Court which usually means hiring an attorney.
Also, the job of court personnel is to process cases. They cannot give out legal advice.
The following restrictions apply to small claims cases:
You may sue any person or business in Kansas that you believe owes you money or property. You may not sue the State or a local governmental unit in small claims court.
If your case meets the requirements noted above, you should file your claim by going to the Small Claims Division of the office of the District Court. You should have with you the required filing fee and the name and address of the person(s) you are suing.
You should also decide ahead of time the exact amount you want to recover and be prepared to give a written explanation of your case.
You may then fill out the petition at the Clerk's Office and file it, or you may take it home to complete and file later. The petition must be notarized or signed before the Clerk.
Once you have filed your claim, a hearing date will be set for you. Then, a summons, along with a copy of your petition, will be served by the Sheriff's Department to the person being sued.
If the defendant in your case cannot be located, you should contact the court for a continuance to give you more time to find a good address for the defendant. It is your responsibility to contact the Clerk before each court date with a new address or whatever information you may have so that the person(s) can be found.
If you settle the case before the hearing date, notify the court at once so that the case can be dismissed.
Small Claims Court proceedings are conducted informally by the judge. You should be prepared when you arrive for your hearing to clearly explain your side of the case. Bring whatever evidence, papers, documents, or other material you need to prove or support your case. You may subpoena witnesses, and you or the judge may question them about the case. A witness fee must be paid to subpoena a witness who is unwilling to appear.
The defendant will, of course, also be allowed to present their case to the judge.
If the defendant has filed a counterclaim against you, that may be heard at the same time. Depending on the circumstances, the judge may either make a decision immediately after hearing both sides or may continue the case to another date. If the defendant was served and does not show up for the hearing, the judge may declare the defendant in default and award judgment to the plaintiff.
Once the judge has announced a decision in a case, the Small Claims procedure is over. It is up to you to collect what is owed you if you win. If you lose, an appeal may be filed in District Court. Appeals do cost more money, since they involve payment of another filing fee, legal advice from an attorney, ect.
If you have won the case, you are the Judgment Creditor. The loser of the case is the Judgment Debtor. The Small Claims Procedure Clerk will give you (the Judgment Creditor) a form entitled "Judgment Debtor's Statement of Assets". This form is to be used to help in the collection of the judgment, as the basis for proceedings such as Execution and Garnishments of wages and bank accounts or other property, if that becomes necessary.
The loser (Judgment Debtor) has 10 days after the judgment is entered to file an appeal.
Unless an appeal has been filed or full payment made to you or the Clerk of the Court within 15 days of the date of judgment, you (Judgment Creditor) are required to do the following:
Following the judgment, both parties have the right to appeal and get a new hearing from a new judge. Appeals must be filed in writing within 10 days of the judgment. These appeals must be filed in District Court and there are no simplified forms or procedures, so you may wish to consult an attorney.
If you are being sued in small claims, and you do owe the other party money or property, pay what you owe and you will not have to appear in court. Be sure the court is notified in writing of such a settlement.
If you have a claim against the plaintiff (the party suing you) in connection with the same matter that his claim concerns, you may file a counterclaim. Fill out the "Defendant's Claim" form that came with the summons and return it as soon as possible to the court where the hearing is to take place.
If you do not settle the claim against you out of court, then you must appear in court at the time scheduled or the judge can rule against you. Bring with you any papers that will support your side of the dispute, and any witnesses who can speak on your behalf. (You too may subpoena witnesses for a fee.) The judge will give both you and the other party a chance to speak before he makes his decision. If the judge decides against you, you are legally bound to pay to the plaintiff whatever the judge orders you to pay. You may appeal the judge's decision.
Detailed information about the small claims procedure appears on the printed forms you must use to file your case. If you decide to use the small claims procedure you may obtain forms from the Clerk of the District Court, Small Claims Division.
If you have a complex case or one that involves a claim over $1,800 you may wish to consult an attorney regarding other forms of legal action. An attorney can tell you what these other actions will cost and help you decide what is the best course for you to take.