Property is not prorated on the tax roll when acquired and is not prorated off the tax roll when disposed of (K.S.A. 79-309). However, private contracts between buyers and sellers will often prorate the property tax. The only exceptions to this are for motor vehicles and when taxable property becomes exempt or exempt property becomes taxable.
Property and Taxes FAQ
It is vital that deeds are prepared accurately. You can draw up your own deed but to prevent mistakes that could be costly, we always recommend that you retain an attorney or title company to help ensure that the deed is prepared correctly. Our staff does not prepare deeds nor are we qualified to provide legal advice.
Can I record documents with the Douglas County Register of Deeds if the property referred to is not located in the county?
No. At least a portion of any property referred to in the document has to be located in Douglas County, Kansas.
The Kansas Homestead Refund Act provides a refund to Kansans who own their homes or pay rent and meet ONE of the following three requirements:
While the Register of Deeds office does not directly provide this service, the public is welcome to research our records.
State law requires the county appraiser to view and inspect all property in the county once every six years. Your county appraiser may view and inspect your property more than once every six years due to market conditions and for quality control.
Documents must be an original. The only exceptions are certified copies from the courts.
Maybe. If your property has been surveyed and the resulting plat of survey was recorded then it is probably on file in the office of the Engineering Division of the Public Works Department located at 3755 East 25th Street, Lawrence, KS. It is possible the survey may have been recorded in the office of the Register of Deeds.
In America, property ownership is almost taken for granted. But remember, there are countries where owning property is not the norm. The office was often created even before a state became an official part of the United States. The records retained in the Douglas County Register of Deeds office go back to the early 1800's. In eastern states, the records start in the 1700's and before. These records never go away. Research takes you back to the very first transaction between the Native Americans and the U.S. government and everything in between then and now!
The Homestead Act is a State program designed to refund a portion of the property taxes paid on a Kansas resident's homestead. Information about who may qualify and other general information can be found on the back of the Douglas County Tax Statements. The State of Kansas can be reached regarding the Homestead Act at 785-368-8222 Option #4.
Motor vehicles are appraised in the following ways:
To fall under the tax definition of an "RV" the vehicle must be, among other things, for use on a chassis and designed as living quarters for recreational, camping, vacation or travel use; have a body width not exceeding 8½ feet and a body length not exceeding 45 feet; an electrical system which operates above 12 volts and provisions for plumbing and heating. Please contact the county appraisers office for proper classification.
The formula for calculating residential real estate properties is as follows:
Appraised value x 11.5% = Assessed value x mill levy-$46.00*= Taxes**
* Residential properties receive a credit on the first $20,000 of assessment on the general portion of the school mill levy. This calculates to $46.00 per property.
** This will not include any specials that might be assessed such as sidewalks, streets, etc.
You can visit the county appraiser's office to review information on similar properties and verify that the information the appraiser's office has on your home is correct. If a neighbor has a similar house which recently sold, the sale price may also give you an indication of the value of your house. In addition, real estate professionals can provide information about market conditions in your area.
Real estate sales price information is not considered open record in Kansas (K.S.A. 79-1437f). A licensed appraiser or real estate broker may be able to help you find the information you seek.
Documents can be submitted for re-recording in one of two ways:
You can view and/or print a copy of the different fee schedules for Douglas County by visiting the Douglas County Fee Schedule page. his fee schedule contains fees for the following categories/departments:
- Register of Deeds Office
- Sheriff's Office
- Custom Maps
- Printed & Standard Maps
- Digital Mapping Data
- Blue Line Aerials
This is how you can calculate the property taxes on your property:
- Looking at your notice of value, find the "appraised value" of your property. Multiply the appraised value by the "assessment percentage" for your property _ (appraised value) times _% (assessment percentage) = assessed value
- Multiply the assessed value by your "mill levy" and then divide by 1,000 to estimate the property tax you owe. _ (assessed value) times _ (mill levy) divided by 1,000 = tax bill
Contact your county clerk to find out what your mill levy is.
You can change your address by mailing it to P.O. Box 884, Lawrence, Kansas 66044. It can also be changed by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by filling out the back portion of the tax statement that is to be turned in with your payment.
Contact us or the Douglas County Treasurer by email, phone or US Mail and we will update your mailing address.
If the existing pipe or tube is too small to handle normal rainfall amounts then you should contact the Public Works Department by telephone at 785-832-5293. We will study the location and make a determination as to the best manner to proceed.
If the width of your entrance is too narrow because you have changed the type or size of vehicle(s) you are using then you would be responsible for the upgrade (widening) of the entrance. Applications for the upgrade of entrances are identical to those required for the installation of new entrances and are available at the Engineering Division office at the Public Works Department, 3755 East 25th Street, Lawrence, KS 66046. It would be very helpful if you could bring a copy of your property's legal description which can be found on your property tax statement.
Addresses are not assigned to vacant parcels. Addresses are assigned by the Zoning and Codes Department when a landowner applies for a residential or commercial building permit. Addresses are typically based on the location where the entrance meets the public road. Note that an entrance to the property must be approved by Public Works or the township prior to applying for a building permit. A building permit will not be approved until the entrance has been constructed and inspected.
Applications for the installation of new entrances are available at the Engineering Division office at the Public Works Department, 3755 East 25th Street, Lawrence, KS 66046. It would be very helpful if you could bring a copy of your property's legal description which can be found on your property tax statement. There is a $75.00 fee required for submission of an application. If you have any questions you may call the Public Works Department by telephone at 785-832-5293.
If the tax owing is Real Estate tax you can:
The best way to subdivide property is to utilize the services of a professional land surveyor or multi-disciplined consulting firm. The local regulations can be complicated and, in addition, various state laws and regulations require certain activities be performed by licensed professionals. If you have specific questions regarding the process you may contact the Lawrence - Douglas County Planning office located in the Lawrence City Hall at 6th Street and Massachusetts Street, Lawrence, Kansas or you may telephone that office at 785-832-3150.
When valuing your home, the appraiser determines the age, quality, location, condition, style and size of your property. The appraiser then uses one or more of the following three methods to value real property:
If your property value goes up, it does not necessarily mean you will pay more taxes. Likewise, if your property value goes down or does not change, it does not automatically mean you will pay less or the same amount of taxes. Changes in property taxes are based in large part on how much your local government decides to spend on services each year.
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:
Article 11, Section 1 of The Kansas Constitution provides that: Real property shall be classified into seven subclasses and assessed uniformly by subclass at the following assessment percentages:
Documents are processed immediately upon presentation (except some surveys and plats). Documents that are presented in person will be returned within 5-10 minutes. Documents received by mail will be sent out for return on the following business day.
Real estate and personal property payment history can be found online through the Property Search page.
The website contains only Real Estate information. Personal property history can be obtained by contacting our office 785-832-5178. Payment information for your car tags can be found on your registration. If you want the amount paid please be prepared with a plate number for each vehicle, you can call us at 785-832-5273.
One sale by itself does not determine market value. A single sale may not represent the open market. The price you paid for your house is verified by the county appraiser and then considered along with sales of similar properties. The appraiser uses this information to appraise your home.
Any overages occurring from a tax sale are turned over to the Douglas County District Court. The Treasurer’s Office does not retain a listing of these properties.
1. Footing (Prior to Pouring Concrete)
2. Foundation (Prior to Pouring Concrete)
3. Temporary Power Poles
4. Under slab Plumbing (Prior to Pouring Concrete)
5. Rough-in Plumbing and Final Plumbing
6. Rough-in Electrical and Final Electrical
9. Masonry Fireplace and Chimney
11. Drywall (Prior to taping joints)
12. Permanent Electrical Service
Entrances must be constructed to proper standards and specifications for reasons primarily related to traffic safety. The standards and specifications are contained within an Entrance Construction Application Form available at the Engineering Division office at the Public Works Department, 3755 East 25th Street, Lawrence, KS 66046. There is a $75.00 fee required for submission of an application. If you have any questions you may call the Public Works Department by telephone at 785-832-5293.
Use one of two ways to challenge the value of your property: you may appeal the "notice of value" of your property by contacting the county appraiser's office by phone or in writing by March 30th for real property and May 15th for personal property, or you may fill out a "payment under protest" form with the county treasurer at the time you pay your taxes. If you paid all your taxes prior to December 20th then the protest can be made no later than December 20th (unless an escrow or tax service agent pays your property taxes, then no later than January 31st).
First half taxes are due December 20th. Second half taxes are due May 10th.
By law the county appraiser is responsible for listing and valuing property in a uniform and equal manner. The appraiser determines the appropriate value of your property. The amount of taxes you pay depends on the budgets set by local government, special assessments and an amount collected by the state and redistributed to public schools.
Cash payments should be made in person in the office only. Checks are accepted in any of our office locations, in our two drop box locations, and through the mail. You can pay by e-check online for a $1.49 fee. Credit card payment is available in the office and online at http://ks-douglas.manatron.com. There is a fee for using a credit card. Payment cannot be made by credit card over the phone.
If the payment is for real estate, you have until May 9th to still pay the first half with interest. If the payment is for personal property, the full amount plus interest becomes due on December 21st.
Once recorded, if your deed is lost or misplaced, a copy may be obtained from the Register of Deeds office and certified with an official stamp. There is a fee for the copy and the certification.
You will need to contact the Appraiser's Office at: 785-832-5289. Be prepared to provide the proper documentation regarding any transactions.
It is a tax based on value, or property tax.
The county voters passed a 1.0% countywide sales tax in 1994. The countywide sales tax goes to the county and cities based on formulas. The main purpose of this tax for the county was to build a new jail and health facility, and to reduce ad valorem taxes.
The county voters passed a 0.25% sales tax in 2018 for the purpose of financing the costs of providing mental health services for the county. Collection of the sales tax began April 1, 2019.
According to statute, personal property is every tangible thing which is the subject of ownership, not forming part or parcel of real property.
Homes, commercial real property and certain other property categories are appraised at "market value" as of the first day of January each year. Market value is the amount of money a well-informed buyer would pay and a well-informed seller would accept for property in an open and competitive market without any outside influence. Land devoted to agricultural use, light passenger motor vehicles, and commercial and industrial machinery and equipment are appraised using a value based method, however it is not "market value".
According to Kansas statue, real property is land and all buildings, ie, improvements, mines, minerals, quarries, mineral springs and wells, rights and privileges appertaining thereto, except as otherwise specifically provided.