Property Tax Appeals Process
Considering an Appeal?
Our office works very hard to achieve a high level of accuracy in our appraisals. However, if you believe there may be a mistake or that the value assigned to your property does not reflect the fair market value (what you would reasonably get if you sold your home) as of January 1, please follow the process to appeal.
The appeals process is an opportunity to review your property in depth, making sure that the property characteristic data, as well as the classification, and value of the property is all correct. Our office wants values to be accurate, so that we have a fair basis for sharing the cost of local services.
You are welcome to request information about how your property was valued from the County Appraiser’s Office in order to determine whether you should appeal. The appraiser’s office staff members can help you review and verify data on your property. Reviewing real estate advertisements or visiting with real estate professionals can also provide helpful information about market conditions.
Filing an Appeal
Levels of Appeals
There are three levels of appeals in Kansas. Informational pamphlets are provided by the Kansas Department of Revenue, Division of Property Valuation on “The Property Tax Appeals Process in Kansas” and “Preparing for a Property Valuation Appeal”. This information is also available upon request at the County Appraiser’s Office.
|Once you initiate an appeal, be sure to pursue it to your satisfaction. If you abandon or drop your appeal, you CANNOT appeal later for the same property and tax year.|
Level I: Informal
Taxpayers may appeal or challenge their property’s classification and/or appraised value in one of two ways. The value may be appealed at an Informal Meeting in the spring, after the appraiser has notified the taxpayer of the property’s appraised value, or the value may be appealed by filing a Payment Under Protest when taxes are paid. However, the property value may be appealed only once per tax year.
- The first opportunity you have to an Informal appeal is when you receive the Notice of Value on your property in the spring (generally in March).
- The appeal form and instructions are on the back of this notice.
- By law, you must file your appeal within 30-days of the date the valuation was mailed to you.
- The Informal Meeting can be held in-person or a telephone hearing can be requested.
- The Informal Meeting is a meeting with an appraiser that lasts about 20 minutes.
- You can designate someone to represent you, if you wish, by filing a “Declaration of Representation” form prior to the meeting.
- The Appraiser's Office has prepared an "Informal Meeting Preparation informational sheet that you can print off so you know what to expect.
Payment Under Protest:
- The second type of Informal appeal open to taxpayers is the property tax Payment Under Protest. (The new value will not result in a tax bill until November.)
- Protests maybe filed at the time the first half taxes are paid by December 20 or at the time the second half taxes are paid by May 10, but not both times.
- If the mortgage company pays the taxes directly, an appeal may be filed with the County Treasurer at any time after the tax bills have been sent out, but before January 31.
- All Payment Under Protest (PUP) appeals originate with the County Treasurer. The protest form may be filled out at the Treasurer's Office, or the taxpayer can call (620) 793-9531 and the County Treasurer can mail, email or fax the protest form.
- Forms may also be downloaded from the “Kansas Court of Tax Appeals” website. After the protest form has been filed with the County Treasurer, the Appraiser’s Office will schedule an Informal Meeting with one of our appraisers.
If the taxpayer disagrees with the informal appeal decision, additional avenues of appeal are available up to and including Kansas District Court. Instructions for appealing to the next level will be given at the time of the informal hearing and on the notification hearing results letter, which will be provided when a decision has been reached regarding the appeal.
If you are not satisfied with the results of the Informal Meeting or Payment Under Protest (PUP) meeting, you can appeal further to the Court of Tax Appeals (COTA), Small Claims & Expedited Hearing Division, within 30-days of receiving your notification of results letter.
See Appeals Flowchart(s) below for further explanation.
Level II: Small Claims Division – Court of Tax Appeals (COTA)
The Small Claims hearing officer is appointed by the Regular Division of the Court of Tax Appeals (COTA), rather than by the County. The hearings are held in the county where the property is located, or an adjacent county. The hearing must be scheduled within 60-days after the appeal is filed in the Small Claims Division and decided within 30-days after the hearing. You and the County Appraiser each have the opportunity to present documentation that supports your opinions of value. The meeting is informal; no records of the proceedings are kept. All copies of documentation are generally returned to you before you leave the meeting.
“Kansas Court of Tax Appeals” website has more information on the Small Claims & Expedited Hearing Division, as well as their fee schedule.
Level III: Regular Division – Court of Tax Appeals (COTA)
If you decide to appeal a Small Claims decision, you may appeal to COTA. You may also appeal your Informal Meeting results directly to COTA, if your property, is NOT a single-family residential property.
To appeal, file the proper form with COTA within 30-days from the date you were mailed notice of (a) the Small Claims Division decision or (b) the County Appraiser’s Informal Meeting results. The appeal form should be part of the notice. Contact the County Appraiser’s for the appeal form if necessary. The forms and filing fee schedule are also available on COTA’s web-site at www.kansas.gov/cota/.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is an Informal Meeting?
An Informal Meeting is an opportunity for a property owner to question or appeal a property value or classification.
What should taxpayers consider in order to choose between an Informal/Equalization Appeal or Payment Under Protest Appeal?
Normally taxpayers would choose an Informal/Equalization Appeal because the property value is appealed before any tax payment is due. Payment Under Protest (PUP) can be used if the deadline for Informal/Equalization Appeal was missed. However, one half of the taxes will be due upon applying for a Payment Under Protest (PUP).
What is the deadline to request an Informal/Equalization Appeal?
You have 30-days from the date on the valuation notice to request an Informal/Equalization Appeal.
What is a valuation notice?
It is the notification of the appraised value for the coming tax year.
How may a copy of a valuation notice be obtained?
Property owners may view appraisal information for their properties online at www.bartoncounty.org under the County Appraiser’s web-page. A value notice may also be requested by emailing email@example.com, or by calling (620) 793-1821, or faxing (620) 793-1820. A property owner may also pick up a copy at the Barton County Appraiser’s Office located on the 2nd floor of the Courthouse, 1400 Main, RM 206, Great Bend, KS.
When may one apply for Payment Under Protest?
You may apply for Payment Under Protest (PUP) when tax payments are made. See information above on Payment Under Protest process.
What is the date and time of my Informal Meeting?
The date and time of your Informal Meeting is indicated on the front of the confirmation letter.
How much time should be allowed for the Informal Meeting?
An Informal Meeting usually lasts approximately 20 minutes.
Where will the Informal Meetings be held?
Typically, the Informal Meetings are held in the County Appraiser’s Office. This information will be included in the confirmation letter sent to the property owner.
What items should be brought to the Informal Meeting?
Anything to support the taxpayer’s opinion of value should be brought to the hearing. Examples of what should support a taxpayer’s opinion of value would be interior & exterior photos, comparable sales, etc.
Who will conduct the Informal Meeting?
A qualified appraiser from our office will be assigned to conduct the Informal Meeting.
May someone else represent me at an appeal?
Yes, only if you have furnished the Appraiser’s Office with a signed Declaration of Representative form.