Archive for Saturday, August 26, 1995


August 26, 1995


A tax appeal battle is going into extra innings.

The Kansas Court of Appeals will get a chance to referee a property tax challenge that triggered formation of a Douglas County tax protest organization.

Don Cashatt, 2714 Iowa, who has been battling county officials for more than a year over his 177-percent property valuation increase, will appeal a Douglas County District judge's ruling in favor of the county, said Jim Jesse, who Cashatt has retained as his new attorney.

Cashatt believes the county appraiser was out of line when he considered the encroachment of commercial development in increasing the valuation on Cashatt's home, Jesse said.

The valuation on his home jumped from $72,500 in 1993 to $201,130 a year later. That boosted his tax bill to $2,762. The house, which was part of a rural subdivision when the Cashatts moved there nearly 30 years ago, now is surrounded by businesses.

Douglas County District Judge Ralph King sided with the county in a ruling earlier this month.

``With all due respect, we think that Judge King's order was wrong,'' Jesse said. Cashatt ``is being essentially singled out because of his location. He is not being treated fairly and equally with other homeowners.''

The county has argued that state law requires property to be appraised for tax purposes at fair market value. Even though Cashatt's house is still zoned residential, county officials believe the proximity of commercial development has increased the value of the property.

Douglas County Commission Chairman Louie McElhaney said location should be a factor in appraisals.

``I think that goes back to valuing ground in Alvamar or ground in East Lawrence. One is worth more than the other,'' McElhaney said.

Cashatt's case became a lightning rod for disgruntled taxpayers and spurred formation of the Douglas County Property Owners' Assn., a tax watchdog group that has signed up more than 200 members.

Jesse said he will be filing a brief on Cashatt's behalf.

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