County’s property valuations increase
Leavenworth County's appraiser is surprised that the housing market held up following terrorists' attacks against the U.S. last September.
"The southern part of the county from outside of Lansing down is very robust," said Appraiser Donna Graf. "It's not exactly what we've expected to see after Sept. 11, but we haven't seen any indication that it's slowing down."
The office's toll-free number is (800) 250-2057, extension 0440.
You must call by 5 p.m. April 1 to schedule a hearing.
So the change of value notices that Graf's office mailed last week to property owners reflects a 9 percent increase from 2001.
"You keep thinking it might slow down, but I think as long as interest rates are low, it's not slowing down," the appraiser said.
In 2001, she said, the county's property was appraised at $2,276,666,679. This year, that amount is $2,489,917,974.
Strong housing sales, coupled with new construction, are fueling the valuation increases. Residential property values went up an average of 9 percent from last year, while commercial property increased by an average of 6 percent.
The values will be used to calculate 2002 property taxes, based on the mill levies set by the county, cities and school districts. The 2002 tax statements will be mailed in November, with the first half of the taxes due on Dec. 20.
Any property owner who wants to appeal their 2002 valuation has until 5 p.m. April 1 to do so, Graf said. Informal hearings may be conducted in person or over the telephone. Anyone choosing a telephone hearing should provide information before the hearing to the appraiser's office that they want considered in the appeal.
And it's important that property owners cancel their hearing, if they're unable to keep the appointment.
"If they don't, they lose their appeal rights, and we don't like it when that happens to someone," Graf said. "If they don't appeal this time, they can when the tax statements come out."