Archive for Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Housing values up 17 percent in city

March 1, 2006

Property values in Tonganoxie -- and in all of Leavenworth County -- are soaring.

According to county appraiser Donna Graf, who recently mailed new valuation notices to property owners, the value of all residential property in the city shot up 17.6 percent from 2005.

"You have a lot of growth," Graf said, "and we added 120 residential parcels to Tonganoxie last year. That's growth. You have new construction. You're in the southern part of the county, and land values are going up."

And Graf said she sees no indications the upward climb in values will stop anytime soon. New residents from Johnson, Douglas and Wyandotte counties are driving up populations, and land prices, she said.

"Not right now," she said. "Interest rates are low, and you've got the influx coming in from other counties. We're getting higher- and higher-dollar homes being built. You're seeing large homes -- half-million dollars, three-quarters of a million dollars. We used to not have any."

Rural property is selling for premium prices, Graf said.

"I don't care if it has two acres, they sell very high," she added. "It's just Johnson (County) coming, Douglas coming in down there. They're migrating into our county. Wyandotte, too."

Here are the increased valuations, provided by Graf:

  • Tonganoxie residential, up 17.6 percent from 2005.
  • Leavenworth County residential, up 12.3 percent from 2005.
  • Tonganoxie commercial property, up 4 percent from last year.
  • Countywide, commercial property, up 1.6 percent from 2005.

In Tonganoxie, all property was valued at about $236 million this year, compared with about $207 million last year. That represents a 14.2 percent increase.

Countywide, all property was valued at $3.68 billion this year, compared with $3.3 billion in 2005, an increase of 10.4 percent.

And here's a historical look at the percentage increases in property valuations throughout the county:

  • 2005 property values were 10.5 percent higher than 2004.
  • 2004 property values were 9 percent higher than 2003.
  • 2003 values were 13 percent higher than 2002.
  • 002 property values were 9 percent higher than 2001.

The new values will be used to calculate 2006 property taxes, based on the mill levies set by the county, cities and school districts. The 2006 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 2006 valuation has until 5 p.m. March 30 to file a request, Graf said. Informal hearings may be conducted in person or over the telephone. Anyone choosing a telephone hearing should provide information to the appraiser's office before the hearing 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 property owners do not file an appeal at this time, they have another opportunity later this year, when tax statements are sent.

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