County Commission discusses property appraisals

Local engineer Greg Schick approached the Bourbon County Commission Thursday morning to ask about the process of property appraisals and point out his experience of appraisals that do not seem to match the true value of that property.


“I think there’s a blatant problem in the county,” Schick said, giving examples of a 100-acre piece of property with just $130 in property taxes, while a home he purchased for $5,200 was later appraised at $25,000. “There’s a big disparity.”

County appraiser Clint Anderson said his office is always looking for ways to improve their assessments and that improvements have been made. The state looks at appraisals to make sure they are within 10 percent of what the property is sold for. Anderson said in recent years Bourbon County has been around the 97 percentile, and in the past year was right at 100 percent in that comparison.

But while the total appraisals seem to be right on the proper value, Anderson said that ratio can be skewed by higher-valued properties being appraised lower than their worth, while lower-valued properties are appraised too high.

Anderson said properly appraising those lower-valued properties is a specific goal for him in the upcoming year, but said that can be difficult since, when appraising any structure, they can only make an estimate based on the exterior. Anderson said sometimes they come across a home that may look well-kept on the outside, but then sells for a lower price because the inside may be gutted, and vice versa.

Property is assessed much differently, according to Anderson, with the appraisal not just coming from the size or location of the land, but from its production. That production can include crops, timber, irrigation or just natural grass. Acreage used solely for hunting often leads to much lower property taxes because there is not a measurable production.

“We have no ability whatsoever to change those values,” Anderson said of such properties, saying the state constitution defines it. “We say what it is and they tell us how much.”

But for those appraisals determined locally, Anderson said they are making a conscious effort to make them as accurate as possible to prevent property taxes from being any higher than necessary for Bourbon County residents.

One thought on “County Commission discusses property appraisals”

  1. Property taxes are TOO HIGH already. Mine are too high, and everyone I speak to says it’s too high……The whole system is just screwed up. Most states just charge a flat 1% of property value annually. So if your property was purchased for $100,000 you’d be paying $1,000 annually, or 1%……This county, and this state do NOT provide anything better than anywhere else (and in most cases the service is sub-par)……..The assessor’s desire to re-assess properties is one of the main reason properties in Ft Scott are so run down…….I’ve heard from many property owners, esp. landlords, that they can afford to fix up their properties and make them nicer, but they can’t afford, and/or aren’t willing to pay more in taxes……….It’s a HORRIBLE situation where a person owns their home outright (no mortgage), but has to come up with hundreds of dollars every month just to keep the tax man from taking it away…..Isn’t our sales tax bad enough? Why do you think the population keeps going down and down in small Midwest towns, the lack of good paying jobs, and high taxes…….You think the so-called “smart people” running the town/county/state would be able to figure that out………………..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *