Wyandotte County appraiser resigning from position

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - In Kansas City, Kansas you can find homes selling for $14,000 but the county appraised it 200 percent higher.

That’s why some homeowners were happy to hear Unified Government Appraiser Gene Bryan was stepping down.

Al Banbebber lives in the Maple Hill section of KCK where he said homes around him sell for around $50,000.

However, his home has been appraised at $80,000.

“If I could sell my house for what they say it’s worth, I’d be gone and out of Wyandotte County,” Banbebber remarked.

But what was even more shocking to him was that his neighbor sold their house for $5500 and the county appraised it at nearly $50,000.

Banbebber said, “For what little work they did on that house and for it to go up 500%, I’m in the construction business and there’s no way that that’s even fair.”

It’s something real estate broker John Altevogt has been tracking in Wyandotte County for years.

“The houses were selling for way under what the county was appraising them for. That’s when I first started checking it so I first started checking this in 2007,” Altevogt said.

He said he went to Wyandotte County Tax Appraiser Gene Bryan but it didn’t stop.

Altevogt found lower income neighborhoods were being hit the hardest and in some cases at 200-300 percent property tax increases.

“You know this, these people are not wealthy folks, $1,000 is a lot of money,” Altevogt commented.

Using a realty website, Altevogt compared the home appraisals in lower income neighborhoods to ones in wealthier neighborhoods.

“We just pulled up three houses over $400,000 in value that sold in 2015 and we checked every last one of them was underpriced.”

Unified Government officials confirmed Bryan has resigned from his appraiser position.

Now these homeowners hope the next person will help ease their tax burden.

Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas statement | 

“Gene Bryan has announced his resignation as the Wyandotte County Appraiser. He will leave the position in December. Gene is a knowledgeable and experienced appraiser whose hard work is appreciated. After 12 years with Wyandotte County, Gene feels he has accomplished much and is ready to pursue other interests.”

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Shannon Halligan can be reached at shannon.halligan@kshb.com.

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