County appraiser finishes tax appeal hearings

Mails personal property notices

Staff reporter

Marion County Appraiser Cindy Magill reported May 19 to Marion County Commission that her department had completed tax appeal hearings and personal property tax evaluations have been mailed. Taxpayers who want to appeal the values have 15 days to call the appraiser's office.

There were 484 hearings this year for property tax appeals. Last year there were only 200+, Magill said.

"This is pretty normal with what's happening with the real estate market," Magill said.

She presented information to the commission that included various listings from different Realtors around the county. As a comparison, Magill listed the asking price of the properties and compared it with the appraised value set by the county.

Of the first set of 32 listings, there were 11 properties above the county's appraised value, one at the county's appraisal, and 20 below.

Another set of 17 listings revealed there were three above the county's appraised value for the properties and 14 below.

"I feel our values are pretty even across the board with what the market is doing," Magill said.

Real property values are determined by the sale prices of similar properties in the area and a state-created formula regarding square footage, age, construction, and location.

Other differences in the values vs. sales price of properties on the market may be interior improvements of which the county isn't aware. The county only determines the value of a property from the outward appearance and square footage.

Commissioner Randy Dallke said he was aware of some significant tax hikes for Peabody businesses. Magill explained that the value of properties is based on the sales within the county.

"People drive the values of properties," Magill said.

More discussion followed with the end result being Magill is required to follow state statutes in determining values.

In other business:

— The commission reviewed a letter from Marion County Attorney Susan Robson to the federal surface transportation board.

In the letter, Robson asked the board to reconsider the continued rail-banking of a corridor in Marion and McPherson counties now controlled by Central Kansas Conservancy for the Sunflower Trail.

The letter noted that the trail had never been developed or open to the public. The condition of the property continues to deteriorate to the point of being unsafe. Robson included information about several horses falling through a sink hole several years ago and, most recently, several children falling in a similar sink hole this spring.

It also was noted in the letter that the CKC has not paid past-due noxious weed bills to the county.

— Magill requested a 15-minute executive session for personnel. There were no decisions when the meeting reconvened.

— A public hearing was held regarding making 180th Road, between Old Mill and Kanza, a minimum maintenance road. No members of the public attended.

The commission approved the resolution to make the road a minimum maintenance road.

— A salary increase was approved for road and bridge department employee Mark Schale who was promoted to an equipment operator III with a monthly salary increase of $2,001 to $2,140.

The next commission meeting is at 9 a.m. Friday. The commission did not meet Monday because of the Memorial Day holiday.