County assessed valuation increases 8.37%

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

The assessed value for property in Leavenworth County has increased this year by 8.37%, according to the county appraiser.

Increases in assessed valuation can lead to higher taxes for property owners, but the county appraiser does not set property tax rates. Changes in the assessed value of individual properties may vary from the overall increase for the county.

County Appraiser Bob Weber reviewed the valuation increase Wednesday when he presented a quarterly report to Leavenworth County commissioners.

According to Weber’s report, the total assessed value of real estate in Leavenworth County increased from $721.69 million in 2020 to $782.12 million in 2021.

While the overall increase in Leavenworth County is 8.37%, the assessed value of property within the city of Leavenworth has increased by 6.71%. Assessed valuation in Lansing increased by 6.22%.

Assessed valuation in Basehor increased by 10.91%. Assessed valuation in Tonganoxie increased by 9.9%. Assessed valuation increased by 2.76% in Easton and 14.6% in Linwood.

The assessed value of property in rural areas of the county increased by 9.54%, according to Weber.

Weber said his office will mail 31,684 change of value notices to property owners on Monday. He said people can appeal the valuation of their properties by contacting the County Appraiser’s Office within 30 days of the mailing date of the notices.

County Commissioner Vicky Kaaz said she would like to eliminate a perception that commissioners work with the appraiser to increase valuation in order to generate more tax revenue.

Commissioner Mike Stieben suggested there may be frustration about increases in valuation that have occurred in recent years. He said the property values have increased by 20% in what he characterized as a short period of time.

“That is a dramatic increase,” he said.

County Administrator Mark Loughry said this has nothing to do with the county appraiser. He said the increase in valuation is the result of houses selling for more money.

Commissioner Jeff Culbertson said Weber does a good job of keeping the valuation increases to a minimum while still meeting appraisal requirements set by the state.

Stieben said the County Commission decreased the county’s mill levy two of the last three years, and the mill levy was kept flat the other year. The mill levy is used in setting property taxes.

Stieben said local taxpayers need to look at other taxing entities and demand accountability.

“But even when there’s accountability, there’s still the bills to pay,” Kaaz said.

She said the county is responsible for things such as maintaining and improving roads, operating a jail, repairing bridges and operating a health department.

Commissioner Doug Smith said people are overpaying for houses in the county.

“I guess we have a shortage of houses,” he said.

He said the only way to bring down the housing prices in the county is to increase the supply.

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