Fairfax businesses see sharp increase in property appraisals, fear higher taxes

Posted at 7:06 PM, Apr 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-18 06:24:41-04

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — "The number virtually doubled," said business owner Dan Reardon.

He owns Reardon Pallet Company in the industrial Fairfax district. He found out his property appraisal is listed at roughly $2,626,000 this year, up from around $1,362,000 last year.

He and many other commercial business owners in Fairfax are worried they're eventually going to have to pay much more in property taxes.

"This is going to have a bottom line impact on businesses, and it could cause cuts of employees or other items in the budget," Reardon said.

The Wyandotte County appraiser, Kathy Briney, said they have to catch up to be in compliance with a 2016 state law.

She said most commercial properties have gone up 16.6 percent, but smaller warehouses have seen a 50 to 70 percent increase.

Fairfax's real estate appraised value is at $289,126,150, which makes up three percent of the county's total appraised value.

"We are not valuing within 10 percent of market, which is our statutory duty, which means that values have typically ran low," Briney said.

So, for years, the value of commercial properties was not correct.

That's why property owners like Reardon are seeing the increase this year. They wonder why the county couldn't phase in the increase in steps, but Briney says they've been working on gradually increasing in the past couple years.

"We haven't been able to keep up with the market basically. Warehouse properties in Fairfax and Wyandotte County as a whole  - the market has increased in that area," Briney said.

Reardon says if the county is going to put more of a burden on business owners, he suggests adjusting the mill levy

Briney's office is urging people to come in and appeal their appraisals to make sure the values are correct.

So far, 44 businesses in Fairfax have filed appeals.

Appeal hearings will run through May 15.

Residential properties will see an increase in values but not as high as commercial properties.