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Kobach explains his delinquent tax listing
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach had an experience that no candidate or public official ever wants when his name appeared on the Douglas County list of delinquent property taxes.
Kobach lives in Wyandotte County but owns agricultural property in rural Douglas County. His name appeared on the delinquent tax lists that were published in the Journal-World Aug. 13 and 20. Kobach said that was because he appealed the valuation on the property, which he said increased significantly in the past year.
Kobach said he was successful in the appeal, but either didn't receive or didn't notice the revised valuation notice and, as a result, missed the deadline for making the first half tax payment.
"I actually called them, and they gave me the revised number over the phone," Kobach said.
Kansas property tax payments are due in two installments each year. The first half is due on Dec. 20, and the second half is due May 10. For most property financed with a mortgage, the cost of the tax payments is typically built in to the monthly payment amounts and the company servicing the loan makes the payments. Otherwise, the property owner must pay the taxes directly.
County treasurers are responsible for collecting real estate taxes, and each year they must compile a list of delinquent taxes that are subject to foreclosure. But before compiling that list, they must publish the list of delinquent taxes in the official county newspaper once a week for three consecutive weeks in August.
According to Douglas County Treasurer Paula Gilchrist, Kobach paid the $614.32 tax bill on Aug. 13, the same day the first delinquent tax list was published. But that did not include an additional $16.30 the county added for advertising and administrative costs. She said Kobach paid that remaining amount Aug. 19, after the second list had been prepared and sent to the Journal-World for publication Aug. 20.