property taxes

Scott Canon / Kansas News Service

A roiling debate over how to assess big box stores — their worth when occupied, or their value as vacant properties — could upend property tax systems across Kansas.

At the heart is the “dark store theory,” as critics call the strategy. It contends property valuations should look at what an empty store could fetch on the open market.

That would dramatically cut their property tax bills, forcing county and local governments either to get by on smaller budgets or shift a heavier burden to other property owners.

401(K) 2012 / Flickr Creative Commons

The City of Wichita waives millions of dollars in tax revenue each year in the name of economic development. It’s called tax abatement, and it allows private companies to forgo certain tax burdens for a set amount of years. The plan is to help businesses expand, improve and hire more staff. Tax abatements are a common practice in cities across the country. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur explores how these incentives work, and whether they’re effective.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

A bill under consideration in the Kansas Statehouse would speed up implementation of a law making it more difficult for city and county governments to raise local taxes.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

Kansas lawmakers will consider a proposal to place new limits on local property taxes during the annual legislative session that opened Monday.

The Republican-controlled Legislature last year enacted a law designed to lessen annual increases in the property tax levies that cities and counties rely heavily upon to finance local services. The restrictions are set to take effect in 2018.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a bill clarifying that a new law aimed at reducing local property taxes doesn't take effect until 2018.

Brownback's office announced Wednesday that he had signed the measure.

Sedgwick County Property Values Decrease

Jun 17, 2015
roofdesigner, flickr Creative Common

Sedgwick County property owners have seen some decreases in the value of their homes and commercial buildings. KMUW's Aileen LeBlanc has more.

The Sedgwick County appraiser's office sent out evaluations for residential and commercial property. The county bases property taxes on the appraised values. Sedgwick County appraiser Mike Borchard presented his report to the County Commissioners Wednesday.

Paul Davis Cites High Property Taxes In Wichita Visit

May 13, 2014
Sean Sandefur

Democrat Paul Davis, currently a member of the Kansas House of Representatives, is running against Gov. Sam Brownback in the upcoming November elections, Davis visited Wichita on Monday, KMUW’s Sean Sandefur has more…


Gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis met with supporters at a Mexican restaurant in Wichita on Monday evening. The event was nondescript. On Davis’ mind were the same issues that are on many Kansan minds: education, the economy and rising taxes - property taxes in particular. 

Kansas Counties Want Tax Clarification

Jul 26, 2013

Some county officials are asking Kansas lawmakers to clarify whether back taxes on personal property follow the property, or should be assessed to its owner.

Lawmakers need more time for income tax deal; Additions could be made to anti-aboriton bill; Three men arrested in synthetic marijuana scheme.

Kansas Tax Deal On Hold

Negotiators for the Kansas House and Senate say agreement on a plan for more cuts in income taxes is unlikely until May.


Lawmakers Adding To Sweeping Anti-Abortion Measure

House Rejects Property Tax Plan

Mar 20, 2013

The Kansas House Wednesday rejected a proposal by Democrats aimed at reducing the property taxes paid by Kansans.