Who We Are
The County Appraiser’s Office consists of a team of 16 full-time employees and 1 part-time employee. Our duties are mandated by Kansas Statutes and the Kansas Constitution. While we’re employed by Riley County, we answer to the Kansas Department of Revenue’s Property Valuation Division (PVD). PVD provides the rules, regulations, appraisal methods and educational standards for our work. In addition, they monitor, audit and test our work throughout the year. At the end of each annual appraisal cycle, PVD issues the results of their findings. Their findings result in scores for Procedural Compliance and the Sales Ratio Study. The County is graded and scored in both of these areas. The outcome of these two reports determines whether our office meets compliance or not. If not, PVD mandates the needed changes and can actually take over administration of the Appraiser’s Office if deemed necessary. Each of the last three years, our office has met compliance and received a perfect Procedural Compliance score.
What We Do
In general terms, the Appraiser’s Office must value all real estate and taxable personal property (business equipment, mobile homes, trucks, trailers, non-highway vehicles, watercraft, ATV’s, mopeds, golf carts, oil wells, etc.) in the county each year. In Riley County, that means we value more than 24,000 real estate parcels totaling over $5.30 billion and 4,451 personal property accounts totaling over $68.9 million. The resulting values are used in the calculation of property taxes for each property.
The values we choose are the result of an annual appraisal cycle consisting of on-site property reviews, analysis of property sales, collection of market data, market studies and statistical analysis. Our cycle starts immediately after certification of the current year’s values (May/June) and ends once we have held property appeals and certified values to the County Clerk’s Office (May/June the next year). In addition to setting values for all real estate and taxable personal property, our office holds real estate and personal property appeals each year. Typically that means over 700 Informal hearings, 20 to 30 Small Claims hearings and 15 to 20 Board of Tax Appeals hearings. The Informal hearings are held in our office by our appraisers, while the Small Claims and Board of Tax Appeals hearings are more formal courtroom type hearings.
The work we do is really just the starting point for the development of each year’s property taxes. Once we certify our values to the County Clerk’s Office, they in turn calculate assessed valuation for all taxing units, calculate mill levies and certify the tax roll to the Treasurer’s Office. The Treasurer’s Office then mails property tax bills, processes payments of the property taxes and distributes the collected funds to the appropriate local units of government, school districts and state government.
While our work can be stressful and sometimes controversial, the values we provide are very important in maintaining fairness and equity in the property tax system!