Q: Is it true that Kansas has the highest personal property tax rate in the nation?
A: County, state and national officials contacted this week said they weren't sure where such statistics are kept. Officials in the Douglas County Appraiser's office, Kansas Department of Revenue in Topeka, Federation of Tax Administrators and the Institute for Property Taxation in Washington, D.C., and in the International Association of Assessing Officers in Chicago weren't able to say if Kansas has the highest rate.
However, Kirby Stegman, revenue analyst in the Kansas Department of Revenue, said Kansas has one of the highest rates in the nation.
"But I think it's all relative," he said. "If the revenue isn't coming from personal property taxes, it's coming from somewhere else, or else you're not getting the same level of services that we have here."
In Kansas, personal property tax is determined based on an assessed value of 25 or 30 percent of the market value for items such as commercial equipment and cars. The assessed value is multiplied by the mill levy. A mill is $1 in taxation for every $1,000 in assessed property valuation.
According to the IAAO in Chicago, other states have an assessed property value of 100 percent, but their mill levy may be much lower, said Douglas County Appraiser Marion Johnson.
Because of the number of variables, a comparison of property taxes from county to county and state to state is difficult to compile, officials said.