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Property and Taxes FAQ

Can I make my own deed?

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.

Has my property been surveyed?

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.

Have we been around long?

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!

Homestead Act: What is it?

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.

How are recreational vehicles (RVs ) taxed?

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.

How are taxes calculated?

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.

How can I determine if the appraisal of my home is accurate?

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.

How do I calculate the property taxes on my property?

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.