Archive for Wednesday, April 9, 2003

Appeals increase with property values

April 9, 2003

Leavenworth County officials will be busy in coming weeks listening to arguments over property valuations.

Last week, the Leavenworth County appraiser's office received the final appeals of property valuations that were sent out in early March.

And, like the valuations, the number of appeals is running higher than last year.

"This wasn't any surprise to us," said Donna Graf, county appraiser. "We see what the values do every day. We get sales every day so we know."

Along with higher sale prices, Graf and her staff anticipate additional appeals once county workers set property valuations.

The total valuation of commercial and residential property in Leavenworth County increased by nearly 13 percent from 2002. In 2002, property in the county was valued at $2,489,917,974. This year, the total valuation was set at

$2,791,634,460, representing a 12.9 percent increase. Last year, the property valuation increased 9 percent from 2001.

Graf, who's been county appraiser since 1995 and who worked in the appraiser's office for eight years before that, said appeals have been filed on 1,513 pieces of property. That compares to 1,078 last year. The county includes about 27,000 parcels of property, so the number of appeals filed this year represents nearly 6 percent of the pieces of property.

"This year, our values changed so much," Graf said. "This year, I'm sure it's just because of the percent of increase in values. Things are steadily going up. We're not particularly surprised we have a lot of hearings."

Any property owner who did not file an appeal at this time has another opportunity later this year, when tax statements are sent.

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