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How is personal property classified and assessed in Kansas?

Article 11, Section 1 of The Kansas Constitution provides that: Tangible personal property shall be classified into six subclasses and assessed uniformly by subclass at the following assessment percentages:

  1. Mobile homes used for residential purposes...11 1/2%
  2. Mineral leasehold interests except oil leasehold interests the average daily production from which is five barrels or less, and natural gas leasehold interests the average daily production from which is 10 mcf or less, which shall be assessed at 25%...30%
  3. Public utility tangible personal property including inventories thereof, except railroad personal property, including inventories thereof, which shall be assessed at the average rate all other commercial and industrial property is assessed...33%
  4. All categories of motor vehicles not defined and specifically valued and taxed pursuant to law enacted prior to 1985...30%
  5. Commercial and industrial machinery and equipment which, if its economic life is seven years or more, shall be valued at its retail cost when new less seven-year straight-line depreciation, or which, if its economic life is less than seven years, shall be valued at its retail cost when new less straight-line depreciation over its economic life, except that, the value so obtained for such property, notwithstanding its economic life and, as long as such property is being used, shall not be less than 20% of the retail cost when new of such property...25%
  6. All other tangible personal property not otherwise specifically classified...30%
  7. Watercraft (see changes below) 11.5% for 2014, 5% for 2015 and thereafter.

*The same as mobile homes considered real property.

State-assessed and beyond the scope of this publication. Information in this publication does not apply to state assessed property.

This classification is only applicable to non-highway titled motor vehicles and motor vehicles operated over 12,000 pounds on public roads. Motor vehicles operated under 12,000 pounds on public roads and "recreational vehicles" are appraised, assessed and taxed pursuant to statue (K.S.A. 79-5100 series).

Attention All Watercraft Owners:

The legislature made several changes to the watercraft law that went into effect for the 2014 tax year. Below is a summary of the changes that will impact watercraft owners as of January 1, 2014.

  • A "watercraft" is defined as any boat or vessel designed to be propelled by machinery, oars, paddles, or wind action upon a sail for navigation on the water that cannot be exempt by other provisions of law. Each watercraft may include one trailer which is designed to launch, retrieve, transport and store this boat or vessel, and any non-electric motor or motors which are necessary to operate this boat or vessel on the water.
  • The assessment rates applied to the appraised valuation are: 11.5% in tax year 2014; and 5% in tax year 2015 and all years thereafter. In no case shall the assessed valuation of any watercraft cause the tax upon such watercraft to be less than $12.
  • The levy used to calculate the tax on watercraft shall be the county average mill levy from the prior year.
  • The new definition of watercraft reaffirms that the boat, motor(s) and trailer are eligible for prorating onto or off the tax roll as long as the county appraisers office is notified prior to December 20 of the tax year.
  • Any boat or vessel is exempt if one or more of the following criteria apply:
    • If the watercraft was exempt or could be exempt as commercial and industrial machinery and equipment (subclass 5) because it was acquired after June 30, 2006. (Documentation may be required by the county office.)
    • The purchase price of the watercraft was $750 or less (Documentation and/or Bill of sale required to be provided to the county office).
    • Any boat that is designed to be propelled through the water through human power alone shall be exempt. Examples would be canoes, kayaks, paddle boards and pedal-power paddle boats.