In Kansas, property tax revenue is a chief source of funding for school districts, local governments, community colleges and a whole host of public services, including fire protection, road maintenance, libraries and parks. In 2015, statewide property tax collections amounted to nearly $4.4 billion. Tax on residential property accounted for roughly 49% of collections in the state, followed by commercial and industrial property at about 24.1%, public utilities at 13.2% and agricultural property at 6.1%. Schools were the single largest recipient of property tax revenue in Kansas, with a 40% share. County governments collected a 29.2% share, while city governments took 16% and community colleges took 5.1%.

Kansas Property Tax Basics

Property valuation and tax billing in Kansas is administered at the county level. A county appraiser is responsible for estimating the market value of all property in a given county every year on Jan. 1. Appraisers visit properties in person once every six years to conduct an external property inspection for valuation purposes. In other years, appraisers rely on real estate sales data and other resources to update valuations. Property valuation notices are sent out by March 1 each year. Property owners may appeal an annual valuation as too high within 30 days of receiving the valuation notice.

The county treasurer sends out tax bills in November or early December each year. Half of the annual tax bill is due by Dec. 20, while the second half is due no later than May 10. The tax bill for residential property is calculated by first applying an assessment rate of 11.5% to the appraised value of the property. The resulting figure is known as the assessed value of the property. A home appraised at $100,000, for example, has an assessed value of $11,500. Other categories of property have different assessment rates. For example, the assessment rate for commercial property is 25%.

The mill levy covering a given property is applied to the assessed value of the property to determine the tax bill. The first $20,000 of appraised home value is exempt from the statewide portion of the mill levy. In 2015, this exemption amounted to a tax savings of $46 on a home appraised at $20,000 or more. The Kansas Homestead Refund Act provides additional property tax relief to low-income Kansans who have a disability, are over the age of 55 or have dependent children under 18.

Average Property Taxes in Kansas

In 2015, the statewide average property tax rate across all categories of property in Kansas was $65.87 per $1,000 of assessed value. Property tax rates varied substantially at the county level. Smith County was home to the highest property tax rate at $131.50 per $1,000 of assessed value, followed by Stanton County at $129.05 per $1,000 and Hamilton County at $123.22 per $1,000. At the low end of the scale, Johnson County had a property tax rate of $19.58 per $1,000 of assessed value, followed by Pottawatomie County at $26.41 per $1,000 and Sedgwick County at $29.38 per $1,000.

How Kansas Compares to the Nation and to Nearby States

When comparing Kansas property taxes to rates in other states, it is useful to focus narrowly on average effective tax rates for owner-occupied property. In 2015, Kansas had a statewide average effective tax rate of 1.39% on the market value of an owner-occupied home. This compares to a nationwide average of 1.19%. Just 14 states had a higher average rate than Kansas in 2015.

Immediately to the east of Kansas is Colorado, which has an average effective property tax rate of just 0.61%, the eighth lowest in the country. To the south of Kansas is Oklahoma, which has an average rate of 0.86%, followed by Missouri at 1.02%. Kansas comes in under its neighbor to the north, Nebraska, which has an average rate of 1.84%. New Jersey is home to highest rate in the nation at 2.38%, while Hawaii has the lowest rate at 0.28%.

Michigan Property Tax Guide

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