Archive for Tuesday, November 16, 2010

County appraiser uncertain about direction of tax bills

November 16, 2010


With taxes going up and the values of homes remaining stagnant or going down, the Douglas County Appraiser’s Office isn’t sure which direction tax bills will go.

On Friday, the Douglas County Treasurer’s Office will send out its tax bills. They arrive in a year in which the county, local governments and school boards have substantially raised mill levies. At the same time, the majority of residential property values have remained unchanged or dropped. Those valuations were set in January and mailed to property owners in March.

“You might pay a little bit less if the house value went down significantly,” Douglas County Appraiser Steve Miles said. “But to say across the board that residential taxes went up or down, I couldn’t say.”

Tax increases this year range from 9.306 mills in Baldwin City to 2.747 mills in Lecompton.

Over all, valuation in Douglas County is up 0.4 percent from last year, but that’s largely because of the addition to the tax rolls of the Oread Hotel and a few other large properties. Total real estate valuation for Douglas County is at $1 billion.

When the Appraiser’s Office sent out changes in property valuations in March, about 73 percent of residential homes had values that either remained unchanged or decreased.

In about a week, Miles will have a better grasp on what valuations might look like for the coming year. With sale prices all over the board, Miles said it’s a prediction that is difficult to make.

“One day the economists are reporting that things are looking up and rosy. And, the next day, it’s way down in the cellar,” Miles said.

The first half of the tax bill should be paid by Dec. 20. The second half is due by May 10. Those with questions about deferring payments should call 832-5273.

For homeowners who pay their tax bills through their mortgage companies, information sheets will be sent out later in the month. Property owners who disagree with their property valuations can file a payment under protest form with their tax payment.


Healthcare_Moocher 7 years, 4 months ago

If Miles does not know, then he should be fired. It is his job to know. What the heck does this office do all year? Audit please.

stopit 7 years, 4 months ago

I agree. What have they been doing tall year?

rse1979 7 years, 4 months ago

To be fair, Miles job is to appraise the properties, not assess the taxes (county treasurer Gilchrist). Perhaps the article's author should have done a better job figuring out who she should be asking?

HalsteadHawk 7 years, 4 months ago

You know what the valuations are and you know what the tax rates are but can you figure out if residential taxes went up or down? Give this man a retention bonus.

lawrencehatesbusinesses 7 years, 4 months ago

If he is honest, it might be very bad for businesses. Honesty is the best policy.

gl0ck0wn3r 7 years, 4 months ago

I know which way I would guess they are going.

George_Braziller 7 years, 4 months ago

I've gone through the valuation protest process three times and always won. One year the county thought a comp for my 150 year old two story brick house was a one story two bedroom wooden bungalow built in 1935 and 10 blocks away.

I got the tax valuation increase of $22,000 dropped down to $1,500.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 4 months ago

Radio news keeps talking values are dropping throughout the USA.

How can be it be that Lawrence properties increase in value considering Lawrence is a low wage high tax dollar community with not a great number of good paying jobs available anytime?

gccs14r 7 years, 4 months ago

My valuation has dropped 8% in the last two years, 4.5% last year and 3.5% the year before that.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 7 years, 4 months ago

With local governments pleadng poverty and then the news reports yesterday about "retenetion bonuses", I think that this individual is being very dishonest and evasive. Taxes are goind UP as government entities are spending tax money like it was water and to hell with the taxpayer. Older people on fixed income retirement are especially hard hit by these frauds and foul methods but no one seems to want to let their entitlements go.

"With taxes going up and the values of homes remaining stagnant or going down, the Douglas County Appraiser’s Office isn’t sure which direction tax bills will go."

The hell you say????

Scott Kaiser 7 years, 4 months ago

Has anyone else noticed the picture of the courthouse shows two different times on the clocks?

riverdrifter 7 years, 4 months ago

Allowance for the space/time continuance zulu warp capacitor offset. No problem: time counts and keeps countin'. See.

ChristineMetz 7 years, 4 months ago


I’m the reporter who wrote the story. From the comments above, it appears there is a need for clarification. Steve Miles comments were made about individual tax bills. No one denies that in general taxes are going up. Douglas County and many local governments have raised them in the past year. If everyone’s assessed property valuations remained the same, then of course their taxes would go up. But for thousands of Douglas County residents that is not the case. Their property values went down. And, for those who have home values that dropped dramatically, so did their share of the tax burden. And, they could in fact end up having to pay less in taxes. Therefore, it is hard to say across the board how much an individuals tax bill has changed. I also interviewed Douglas County Treasurer Paula Gilchrist for this story, who agreed that housing values had gone down in some parts of the county and mill levies up. She said residents wouldn’t see a dollar per dollar increase in their tax bills. However, overall she did anticipate a slight increase. Hope that helps clarify things.

Christine Metz Reporter Lawrence Journal-World

Rufus0U812 7 years, 4 months ago

If the looter$ started to think like home owner$ they wouldn't vote them$elve$ money.

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