To the editor:
As a property tax hearing officer for the state of Kansas and an attorney who represents property owners in tax appeals, I wanted to comment on your May 7 article "Rental property valuations perplexing."
First, property in Kansas must be valued at its fair market value. Now, getting to this is an educated guess given all sales and the income the property generates. Looking only at percentage increases, however, from year to year largely misses the point. While a very large increase would certainly warrant examination, the bottom line is whether the county's value is what a willing buyer would pay a willing seller. Some properties go up faster during a given year because of a recent sale, or perhaps the appraiser is trying to catch up to the market.
Your statistical analysis belies your conclusion that larger apartment complexes are going up at a slower pace than smaller ones because four larger complexes increased more than 58 percent since 2005, and eight of the 10 listed had gone up by double-digit percentages since 2001. Not all properties appreciate at the same rate, and the appraiser's office is constantly trying to catch up to market data.