OLATHE, Kan. — Homeowners in Johnson County, Kansas will need to keep a close eye on their mailbox for important tax paperwork.
Monday the Johnson County Appraiser’s Office issued more than 200,000 notices of appraised value for residential properties.
More than 97% of homeowners in Johnson County will see their property tax valuation increase this year. Valuations will vary, but the average increase across the county is about 11%.
State statute requires a property to be appraised at fair market value as of January 1. Fair market value is the price the home could be sold for in an open market. To be compliant with this statute, the county appraiser must appraise homes within 90-110% of actual value of the sale of the home.
In 2021 the average sale price for a single family home in Johnson County was approximately $427,000. The average appraised value in 2022 is $401,000.
Johnson County Appraiser Beau Boisvert said a lack of housing inventory has caused the price of existing homes on the market to increase and new construction hasn’t been able to keep up with demand.
“You’re not seeing the inventory being created to account for the need and the desire to move to Johnson County,” Boisvert said.
According to the county, residential growth value grew by 11.91% and new construction only grew by 0.87%.
Boisvert said the price of existing homes compared to newly constructed homes also factors into the 11% increase. Last year newly constructed homes sold for an average of $610,000, compared to existing homes that sold for an average of $426,000.
If more homes are being sold at a higher price point, it can drive up the average valuation for the whole market.
“If you take all the sales into an array, the more higher [priced] sales you have the higher your [valuation] average is,”Boisvert said.
The City of Spring Hill saw the sharpest increase in property value growth with a 20% average increase compared to last year.
Boisvert said for people who want to live in Johnson County, but cannot afford a home, luxury apartments units are growing in demand.
Last year 1,106 new apartment units were completed in Johnson County in 2021. There are currently more than 4,000 apartment units under construction throughout the county.
Approximately 86% of all commercial property saw an increase in appraisal value. So far in 2022 the county has seen a 4.29% increase in commercial reappraisal growth.
“I think four percent coming out of two years of COVID is a strong increase. It shows some confidence in the commercial world,” Boisvert said.
Overall retail property within the county experienced a slight growth. Johnson County added roughly 208,801 square feet of retail space in 2021. However that number is still down from the retail growth in 2019 and 2020.
“Some businesses are struggling with whether they are going to come back into the office space or whether they are going to stay remote with their employees. Yet we still saw some positive growth with the office area as a whole,” Boisvert said.
Approximately 81,979 square feet of office space was built in 2021, the lowest rate of office construction the county’s seen in the last seven years.
Since 2016 the county has experienced steady growth in the construction of industrial space. In 2021, approximately 2.1 million square feet of industrial space was built-out in Johnson County.
“Especially with COVID, with the fact that people were becoming more online buyers and less and less interacting with actual retail stores; there is a high demand for more retail, more industrial whole-sale warehouses. Therefore I don’t think that market is going to go away,” Boisvert said.
With travel hindered by the pandemic, many hotels have been negatively impacted. No new hotels were built in the county last year.
“There’s a lot of empty units. [Hotels are] running at about 60-70% filled on an average over the last nine to ten months. That’s not where they need to be. They need to be at 85% or 90% on a regular basis,” Boisvert said.
Filing an appeal
The Johnson County Appraiser’s Office will mail residential property valuations on Monday, Feb. 28. Property owners have until Wednesday, March 30 to file an appeal. Instructions for how to appeal can be found on the back of the notice or on the Johnson County website.