The assessment of property, except for utility owned property, for the purpose of property taxes in Kansas is the responsibility of the County Appraiser. The position is created by state statutes and is filled by appointment of the Board of County Commissioners in each county. The term of the appointment is four years.
Two basic duties must be performed by the County Appraiser and his or her staff. First, all property within the county must be inventoried. The two that are most commonly handled are real property and personal property. Real property is the land and everything affixed to the land. Personal property consists of all the material assets that are not affixed to the land like machinery and equipment. The second of the appraiser’s duties is to value all property at a fair market value as of January 1st of each year. Fair market value is the amount of money a well-informed buyer and seller would accept for property in an open and competitive market without any outside influence.
The appraiser’s office does not determine taxes, only the market value of the property. The amount of taxes each taxpayer pays is determined by all the taxing agencies, i.e., city, county, school districts, etc. and depends on the amount of taxes needed to provide all the services the taxpayers require. The assessed value is determined by multiplying the fair market value of the property, as determined by the County Appraiser’s Office, by the assessment rate as outlined in the state constitution.