The Assessment Process
The assessment process involves setting standards for fair and equitable values, discovering and listing information about properties, and determining property values. Values are then analyzed to ensure they meet the standards of fair assessment, and then certifying the total valuation of the county to the county clerk.
Collection of Information
The first step in the appraisal process is to gather information on:
- Type of use
- Building measurement
- Construction type
- Construction costs
- Rental income
Primary sources for this information are real property deeds, subdivision maps, building permits, local building contractors, and office personnel who conduct on-site inspections to gather land and building characteristics. This information is stored, updated, and maintained by the county appraiser for current and future use in the assessment process.
Appraisal / Estimating Value
The county appraiser is required to equitably value all property in the county according to current Kansas law. The actual value assigned to residential properties is based on market value as of January 1 of the current year. To determine the market value, the appraiser studies sales of properties that occurred during the previous three years. Those sales are an indication the market conditions in various parts of Harper County and the market value of specific types of properties. For most non-residential properties, comparable sales information, construction costs, depreciation, and the income approach to value are considered.
Changes Affecting Property Values
A property's value may alter over time.
An addition of a garage, family room, bedroom, etc. or extensive remodeling or modernization could increase the value. Property values may fluctuate due to the local economy. Likewise, the economy of the entire community could affect the market value of your property negatively or positively.
Changes made to maintain your property's current value such as painting your home, replacing the roof, replacing the hot water heater, or making repairs does not necessarily increase the value of the property. However, if these tasks were not performed, the condition of the home would deteriorate which would cause the market value to decrease. State Statutes require that all properties be physically inspected and re-measured by an appraiser at least once in a six year period.
New Construction & Corrections
For each parcel of land, improvements such as buildings must be measured and described through an on-site inspection. This helps insure that all new construction and/or changes to existing improvements are discovered and errors corrected. Under Kansas statues, all real property is valued annually.