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You are notified (by mail) of a date and time of the informal hearing which is held at the Morton County Courthouse.
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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.
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.