Four out of five homeowners in Sedgwick County will see higher tax assessments when notices are mailed on March 1.
“In a very hot market, demand has outstripped supply for homes and prices have risen,” County Appraiser Mark Clark told the County Commission Wednesday.
Tax assessment increases are driven by new and existing home sales.
The median sale price of a home in Sedgwick County increased to $225,000 from $203,000 in 2021, which was the first time the median price exceeded $200,000.
As a result, tax assessments will go up for 80% of homeowners, Clark said. The average average increase is 10%. Only 1% of the county’s 182,000 residential lots have declined in value.
Rising appraisals could lead to higher property taxes unless the County Commission lowers the mill levy, but homeowners will have the ability to appeal the appraisals.
Rising property values across the board have become the norm in recent years in Sedgwick County. Last year, 88% of residential homeowners saw their tax assessments increase, and 79% of home values increased in 2021.
Clark said Sedgwick County is in dire need of more residential units to meet the demand from would-be home buyers.
“They say that to start tackling this imbalance, we would need 25,000 new homes and to really dent that, it would take nearly 50,000,” Clark said.
Home sales fell 13.7% in 2022, largely due to high inflation and rising interest rates.
Under state law, appraisers must inspect every property in the county every six years and reappraise the property’s value every year evenly and equally.
If property owners do not feel that the appraiser’s estimate reflects market value, they can appeal by completing the back of their value notices and returning them to the Sedgwick County Appraiser’s Office within 30 days.
Appeals meetings will be conducted by telephone starting March 16, but Clark said property owners could request an in-person meeting if they prefer.
Residential property accounts for approximately 60% of total appraised value in Sedgwick County.
Commercial property accounts for another 29% with agricultural property accounting for less than 1% due to heavily discounted farmland tax rates.
Clark reported that commercial real estate sales fell 2.9% in 2022, but commercial sales prices remained high.
“There has not been a sizable increase in commercial building permit activity because developers and contractors are cautious during this economic time of high inflation, rising interest rates and ongoing supply chain issues,” Clark said. .
52% of commercial property owners saw their tax assessment increase, while 42% saw no change. Conversely, 59% of farm properties have seen a decline in value.
Later this year, the county will establish a budget based on the cost of providing government services and which will determine the property tax rate, also called the mill levy. Property taxes can be calculated by multiplying the appraised value of a property by the mill levy.
Sedgwick County currently has the third lowest levy in the state.