Understanding Property Taxes
The assessment process is the basis for developing property values and is the tool for equalizing the distribution of the tax burden. Remember that the county appraiser's office does not determine taxes. The amount of taxes you pay depends on the budgets set by our governing bodies such as the state, county, hospitals, and schools to pay for roads, fire, and police protection, recreational facilities, and other local services. You can play an effective role in this process if you know your rights, understand the remedies available to you, and fulfill your responsibilities as a property owner and taxpayer.
The county appraiser is responsible for discovering, listing, and valuing all property within Harper County in an equal and uniform manner. He must follow state laws when meeting these responsibilities. Each year the appraiser must review recent real estate sales and considers local economic conditions in determining the fair market value of the property, as it exists January 1. Market value is the amount of money a well informed buyer would pay and an informed seller would accept for property in an open and competitive market without any outside influence.
As a property owner and taxpayer, you have specific rights and responsibilities in the assessment process:
- You have the right to examine the appraiser's property records and verify that the property you own is listed and described correctly on the tax records.
- If you disagree with your property value, you may file an appeal with the appraiser.
- You have the responsibility to provide accurate information to the appraiser about property you own.
Note: Some properties such as churches, farm grain storage, and some taxing entities are exempt from property taxes. Tax Exemption forms are available on the Court of Tax Appeals of the State of Kansas site or from the appraiser's office.