Mary Clarkin The Hutchinson News
Reno County agricultural landowners will see a reminder of the 2012 farm year -- and its strong commodity prices -- when they open the property value notice sent by the county appraiser.
The notices were mailed Friday and should start appearing in mailboxes today.
On average in Reno County, according to the state Property Valuation Division and Reno County Appraiser Michael Brooks:
--Irrigated agricultural land values surged upward about 19 percent.
--Dryland values rose about 11 percent.
--Pastureland dipped about 5 percent.
--Residential property in northwest Hutchinson, in areas north of the Kansas State Fairgrounds, and in the city's northeast quadrant, climbed about 3.5 percent to 5 percent.
--South residential areas in South Hutchinson rose about 2 percent to 3.5 percent.
--The most common increase for homes with rising values is about 3 percent.
--Thirty-eight percent of homes experienced either no change in value or a decrease in value.
--Commercial property values rose about 5 percent to 7 percent.
Statewide, property values will average a 12.5 percent increase, according to the Kansas Department of Revenue. Individual counties will vary depending on the amount of acres in pasture, dryland and irrigated land in their county.Counties with larger percentages of cultivated land - or dryland and irrigated land - will see the largest increases, the department said. Ag land values
Agricultural land values are not established by county appraisers.
Kansas State University "does the number-crunching," and the Property Valuation Division within the Kansas Department of Revenue, sets the agricultural land values, according to Zoe Gehr, the PVD's agricultural use value coordinator.
An eight-year average is part of the income-approach valuation formula, and for 2014, the eight-year data period dropped off 2004 and added 2012.
Even with the drought, 2012 was a much better year than 2004 because commodity prices rose, Gehr said.
"We are looking at the landlord's net income, and it is much higher in these later years," Gehr told The News.
A "considerable change in cropping practices," Gehr said, also influenced values. More cropping intensity has increased yields, she said. The methodology has changed, too, for irrigated land, Gehr said, affecting the water ratio table. Changes to soil values occurred, too.
"We've seen changes that are more substantial than in years past," she said, of the end result.
While irrigated land rose the most, that represents only 5 percent of the agricultural land in Reno County, Gehr noted, compared to 71 percent in dryland, and 24 percent in grassland or pasture.
Gehr said state was getting ready to send information to counties, "so they can explain to the taxpayers when they call."
Irrigated agricultural land is found around Reno County, along railroad corridors and near the Arkansas River and Cheney Lake.Reno County's Brooks calculated the value changes' tax impact on irrigated land: "$2 bucks an acre."
Although county appraisers do not set agricultural values, farmers who want to appeal a value will start there.
"We can't change the soil type," said Brad Wright, personal property supervisor in the appraiser's department. However, they will check records to see if an error occurred.
Reno County is mailing 24,191 property notices just ahead of the state deadline of March 1.
Reno County Appraiser Brooks said his office strived for equity among commercial properties. That accounts for some of the commercial property value increase.
Sales of comparable homes help determine residential property values, and the better-quality homes on Hutchinson's north end are rising in value.
The recession hit the average person harder than the affluent, Brooks said. The market-price appraised value of residential properties in Reno County adds up to nearly $2 billion. By comparison, the commercial property category -- the next biggest -- amounts to slightly over $500 million.