Leavenworth values rising; total valuation up 9 percent
Property values in Leavenworth County continue to increase.
In fact, County Appraiser Donna Graf's office has determined that residential and commercial properties in the county have increased about 9 percent from 2003 values. On Monday, Graf mailed out change-of-value notices to Leavenworth County property owners.
The total valuation for 2004 is $3,022,475,564, which is 9.4 percent higher than the 2003 total. Graf emphasized that valuation number does not include property that is exempt from taxation.
"And that's new construction and everything," she said. "That's not just a re-value increase."
Residential real estate increased by 9.4 percent from last year, while commercial real estate climbed 9 percent, Graf said.
Last year, property in the county increased in value by nearly 13 percent from 2002. The year before, the increase was 9 percent.
Graf said she expects the upward spiral to continue.
"We aren't seeing the prices of property decreasing," she said. "They're continuing to go up. It's not really surprising that we see an increase (in valuations), because it's based on sales, and they're not going down. They continue to go up."
As long as interest rates continue to fuel home construction and home purchases, Graf said, values will continue to increase. And she noted that Leavenworth County does not have many major industries that have been hit with job layoffs, as other areas of the state have.
"We are fortunate," she said. "We don't see those things like some areas."
The new values will be used to calculate 2004 property taxes, based on the mill levies set by the county, cities and school districts. The 2004 tax statements will be mailed in November, with the first half of the taxes due on Dec. 20.
Any property owner who wants to appeal their 2003 valuation has until 5 p.m. March 31 request an appeal, Graf said. Informal hearings may be conducted in person or over the telephone. Anyone choosing a telephone hearing should provide information before the hearing to the appraiser's office that they want considered in the appeal.
It's important that property owners cancel their hearing if they're unable to keep the appointment.
If property owners do not file an appeal at this time, they have another opportunity later this year, when tax statements are sent.