Understanding Appeal Hearings

Evidence That Can Help in an Appeal

  • Recent appraisal. For example: Those done for a home loan, re-financing or any recent fee appraisal.
  • Photographs of any structural damage such as major foundation problems, fire damage, or termite damage. (By law, the property is valued based on it's condition as of January 1st.)
  • Estimates of the cost to repair major structural problems.
  • Surveys or drawings, if you disagree with the dimensions determined by the appraiser's office. (See Note below)
  • Data on property similar to yours in size, age and style that you believe demonstrates inequity in the appraisal. (See Note below)
  • Data on sales of property similar to yours located in your area. (See Note below)

Note: The Morton County Appraiser's Office can provide you with additional data on your home and a list of comparable sales. Also ask to see the sales book which provides data on recent sales. But, remember, Kansas law only allows sales data to be released to those who are considering an appeal.

Level I: Informational Hearing

The informal hearing is the first of two possible levels of appeal. By law, all owners have the right to appeal the appraised valuation of their property. Remember, you must file for an appeal within 30 days of the mailing of your valuation notice.

  • Hearings are held in the Morton County Appraiser's Office in the Courthouse in Elkhart where you will meet with an appraiser familiar with your area. The meeting lasts about 20 minutes.
  • At this level, most owners represent themselves. However, you may designate a representative, if you wish, by filing a declaration.
  • If you arrive early and need help organizing your appeal, office staff will be glad to help you. You may also contact the office by phone for help prior to the appeal.
  • During the informal hearing, tell the appraiser your concerns and present any evidence such as photographs of structural damage, estimates of repairs or other documentation. (See Understanding the Appeals Process for help in preparing an appeal.)
  • Informal hearings are truly informal. They are an opportunity to meet and discuss how your property was valued. Try to focus on the appraisal: Is your property appraised at "fair market value"?
  • All informal hearings are conducted by May 15th of each year and the results of your appeal will be mailed to you by May 20th.

Level II: State Board of Tax Appeals

When you receive the Informal Hearing decision, you will also receive instructions on how to file an appeal at the next level, the State Board of Tax Appeals. You have 30 days to file. Again you will be notified in advance of the date of your hearing.

  • All evidence you plan to submit must be submitted to the county appraiser 20 days in advance of the hearing. Also plan to bring three copies of your evidence to the hearing. The board will keep that information.
  • The members of the State Board of Tax Appeals are hired by the State of Kansas and are independent of the appraiser and the county. One or more members will attend your hearing.
  • All parties and witnesses are sworn in or given an oath of affirmation. The proceedings include a court reporter or audio taping.
  • The appraiser gives their presentation first, followed by the taxpayer. Next the board asks questions.
  • Usually 30 minutes is allotted for the hearing but the board can and does extend that time limit.
  • The State Board of Tax Appeals will mail results of the hearing to you. When received the county appraiser's office enters any change in the value ordered by the board and notifies the county treasurer. If there is a reduction in value that results in a tax refund, it will be issued by the County Treasurer.