Publications iconKansas Register

Volume 40 - Issue 13 - April 1, 2021

(Published in the Kansas Register April 1, 2021.)

Senate Bill No. 13

An Act concerning property taxation; relating to tax levy rates, establishing notice and public hearing requirements prior to approval by a governing body to exceed its revenue neutral rate and discontinuing the city and county tax lid; prohibiting valuation increase of real property solely as the result of normal repair, replacement or maintenance; establishment of a payment plan for the payment of delinquent or nondelinquent taxes; requiring the director of accounts and reports to include revenue neutral rate on regular budget form; eliminating certain requirements for budget approval for select taxing subdivisions; providing for payment of county printing and postage notification costs; establishing the taxpayer notification costs fund; amending K.S.A. 79-1460, 79-1801, 79-2024, 79-2925c and 79-2929 and repealing the existing sections; also repealing K.S.A. 79-2925b.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:

New Section 1. (a) On or before June 15 each year, the county clerk shall calculate the revenue neutral rate for each taxing subdivision and include such revenue neutral rate on the notice of the estimated assessed valuation provided to each taxing subdivision for budget purposes. The director of accounts and reports shall modify the prescribed budget information form to show the revenue neutral rate.

(b) No tax rate in excess of the revenue neutral rate shall be levied by the governing body of any taxing subdivision unless a resolution or ordinance has been approved by the governing body according to the following procedure:

(1) At least 10 days in advance of the public hearing, the governing body shall publish notice of its proposed intent to exceed the revenue neutral rate by publishing notice: (A) On the website of the governing body, if the governing body maintains a website; and

(B) in a weekly or daily newspaper of the county having a general circulation therein. The notice shall include, but not be limited to, its proposed tax rate, its revenue neutral rate and the date, time and location of the public hearing.

(2) On or before July 15, the governing body shall notify the county clerk of its proposed intent to exceed the revenue neutral rate and provide the date, time and location of the public hearing and its proposed tax rate. For all tax years commencing after December 31, 2021, the county clerk shall notify each taxpayer with property in the taxing subdivision, by mail directed to the taxpayer’s last known address, of the proposed intent to exceed the revenue neutral rate at least 10 days in advance of the public hearing. Alternatively, the county clerk may transmit the notice to the taxpayer by electronic means at least 10 days in advance of the public hearing, if such taxpayer and county clerk have consented in writing to service by electronic means. The county clerk shall consolidate the required information for all taxing subdivisions relevant to the taxpayer’s property on one notice. The notice shall be in a format prescribed by the director of accounts and reports. The notice shall include, but not be limited to:

(A) The revenue neutral rate of each taxing subdivision relevant to the taxpayer’s property;

(B) the proposed property tax revenue needed to fund the proposed budget of the taxing subdivision, if the taxing subdivision notified the county clerk of its proposed intent to exceed its revenue neutral rate;

(C) the proposed tax rate based upon the proposed budget and the current year’s total assessed valuation of the taxing subdivision, if the taxing subdivision notified the county clerk of its proposed intent to exceed its revenue neutral rate;

(D) the tax rate and property tax of each taxing subdivision on the taxpayer’s property from the previous year’s tax statement;

(E) the appraised value and assessed value of the taxpayer’s property for the current year;

(F) the estimates of the tax for the current tax year on the taxpayer’s property based on the revenue neutral rate of each taxing subdivision and any proposed tax rates that exceed the revenue neutral rates;

(G) the difference between the estimates of tax based on the proposed tax rate and the revenue neutral rate on the taxpayer’s property described in subparagraph (F) for any taxing subdivision that has a proposed tax rate that exceeds its revenue neutral rate; and

(H) the date, time and location of the public hearing of the taxing subdivision, if the taxing subdivision notified the county clerk of its proposed intent to exceed its revenue neutral rate.

Although the state of Kansas is not a taxing subdivision for purposes of this section, the notice shall include a statement of the statutory mill levies imposed by the state and the estimate of the tax for the current year on the taxpayer’s property based on such levies.

(3) The public hearing to consider exceeding the revenue neutral rate shall be held not sooner than August 10 and not later than September 10. The governing body shall provide interested taxpayers desiring to be heard an opportunity to present oral testimony within reasonable time limits and without unreasonable restriction on the number of individuals allowed to make public comment. The public hearing may be conducted in conjunction with the proposed budget hearing pursuant to K.S.A. 79-2929, and amendments thereto, if the governing body otherwise complies with all requirements of this section. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit additional public hearings that provide additional opportunities to present testimony or public comment prior to the public hearing required by this section.

(4) A majority vote of the governing body, by the adoption of a resolution or ordinance to approve exceeding the revenue neutral rate, shall be required prior to adoption of a proposed budget that will result in a tax rate in excess of the revenue neutral rate. Such vote of the governing body shall be conducted at the public hearing after the governing body has heard from interested taxpayers. If the governing body approves exceeding the revenue neutral rate, the governing body shall not adopt a budget that results in a tax rate in excess of its proposed tax rate as stated in the notice provided pursuant to this section.

(c) Any governing body subject to the provisions of this section that does not comply with subsection (b) shall refund to taxpayers any property taxes over-collected based on the amount of the levy that was in excess of the revenue neutral rate. The provisions of this subsection shall not be construed as prohibiting any other remedies available under the law.

(d) If the governing body of a taxing subdivision must conduct a public hearing to approve exceeding the revenue neutral rate under this section, the governing body of the taxing subdivision shall certify, on or before September 20, to the proper county clerk the amount of ad valorem tax to be levied.

(e) As used in this section:

(1) “Taxing subdivision” means any political subdivision of the state that levies an ad valorem tax on property.

(2) “Revenue neutral rate” means the tax rate for the current tax year that would generate the same property tax revenue as levied the previous tax year using the current tax year’s total assessed valuation. To calculate the revenue neutral rate, the county clerk shall divide the property tax revenue for such taxing subdivision levied for the previous tax year by the total of all taxable assessed valuation in such taxing subdivision for the current tax year, and then multiply the quotient by 1,000 to express the rate in mills. The revenue neutral rate shall be expressed to the third decimal place.

(f) In the event that a county clerk incurred costs of printing and postage that were not reimbursed pursuant to section 7, and amendments thereto, such county clerk may seek reimbursement from all taxing subdivisions required to send the notice. Such costs shall be shared proportionately by all taxing subdivisions that were included on the same notice based on the total property tax levied by each taxing subdivision. Payment of such costs shall be due to the county clerk by December 31.

(g) The provisions of this section shall take effect and be in force from and after January 1, 2021.

Sec. 2. On and after July 1, 2021, K.S.A. 79-1460 is hereby amended to read as follows: 79-1460. (a) The county appraiser shall notify each taxpayer in the county annually on or before March 1 for real property and May 1 for personal property, by mail directed to the taxpayer’s last known address, of the classification and appraised valuation of the taxpayer’s property, except that, the valuation for all real property shall not be increased unless the record of the latest physical inspection was reviewed by the county or district appraiser, and documentation exists to support such increase in valuation in compliance with the directives and specifications of the director of property valuation, and such record and documentation is available to the affected taxpayer. The valuation for all real property also shall not be increased solely as the result of normal repair, replacement or maintenance of existing structures, equipment or improvements on the property. For purposes of this section, “normal repair, replacement or maintenance” does not include new construction as defined in this section. For the next two taxable years following the taxable year that the valuation for commercial real property has been reduced due to a final determination made pursuant to the valuation appeals process, the county appraiser shall review the computer-assisted mass-appraisal of the property and if the valuation in either of those two years exceeds the value of the previous year by more than 5%, excluding new construction, change in use or change in classification, the county appraiser shall either: (1) Adjust the valuation of the property based on the information provided in the previous appeal; or (2) order an independent fee simple appraisal of the property to be performed by a Kansas certified real property appraiser. As used in this section, “new construction” means the construction of any new structure or improvements or the remodeling or renovation of any existing structures or improvements on real property. When the valuation for real property has been reduced due to a final determination made pursuant to the valuation appeals process for the prior year, and the county appraiser has already certified the appraisal rolls for the current year to the county clerk pursuant to K.S.A. 79-1466, and amendments thereto, the county appraiser may amend the appraisal rolls and certify the changes to the county clerk to implement the provisions of this subsection and reduce the valuation of the real property to the prior year’s final determination, except that such changes shall not be made after October 31 of the current year. For the purposes of this section and in the case of real property, the term “taxpayer” shall be deemed to be the person in ownership of the property as indicated on the records of the office of register of deeds or county clerk and, in the case where the real property or improvement thereon is the subject of a lease agreement, such term shall also be deemed to include the lessee of such property if the lease agreement has been recorded or filed in the office of the register of deeds. Such notice shall specify separately both the previous and current appraised and assessed values for each property class identified on the parcel. Such notice shall also contain the uniform parcel identification number prescribed by the director of property valuation. Such notice shall also contain a statement of the taxpayer’s right to appeal, the procedure to be followed in making such appeal and the availability without charge of the guide devised pursuant to subsection (b). Such notice may, and if the board of county commissioners so require, shall provide the parcel identification number, address and the sale date and amount of any or all sales utilized in the determination of appraised value of residential real property. In any year in which no change in appraised valuation of any real property from its appraised valuation in the next preceding year is determined, an alternative form of notification which has been approved by the director of property valuation may be utilized by a county. Failure to timely mail or receive such notice shall in no way invalidate the classification or appraised valuation as changed. The secretary of revenue shall adopt rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this section.

(b) For all taxable years commencing after December 31, 1999, there shall be provided to each taxpayer, upon request, a guide to the property tax appeals process. The director of the division of property valuation shall devise and publish such guide, and shall provide sufficient copies thereof to all county appraisers. Such guide shall include but not be limited to: (1) A restatement of the law which pertains to the process and practice of property appraisal methodology, including the contents of K.S.A. 79-503a and 79-1460, and amendments thereto; (2) the procedures of the appeals process, including the order and burden of proof of each party and time frames required by law; and (3) such other information deemed necessary to educate and enable a taxpayer to properly and competently pursue an appraisal appeal.

Sec. 3. K.S.A. 79-1801 is hereby amended to read as follows: 79-1801. (a) Except as provided by subsection (b), each year the governing body of any city, the trustees of any township, the board of education of any school district and the governing bodies of all other taxing subdivisions shall certify, on or before August 25, to the proper county clerk the amount of ad valorem tax to be levied. Thereupon, the county clerk shall place the tax upon the tax roll of the county, in the manner prescribed by law, and the tax shall be collected by the county treasurer. The county treasurer shall distribute the proceeds of the taxes levied by each taxing subdivision in the manner provided by K.S.A. 12-1678a, and amendments thereto.

(b) Prior to January 1, 2021, if the governing body of a city or county must conduct an election for an increase in property tax to fund any appropriation or budget under K.S.A. 2020 Supp. 25-433a, and amendments thereto, the governing body of the city or county shall certify, on or before October 1, to the proper county clerk the amount of ad valorem tax to be levied. On and after January 1, 2021, if the governing body of a taxing subdivision must conduct a public hearing to approve exceeding the revenue neutral rate under section 1, and amendments thereto, the governing body of the taxing subdivision shall certify, on or before September 20, to the proper county clerk the amount of ad valorem tax to be levied.

Sec. 4. K.S.A. 79-2024 is hereby amended to read as follows: 79-2024. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the county treasurer of every county may accept partial payment of or establish a payment plan for delinquent or nondelinquent real property tax or personal property tax in accordance with payment guidelines established therefor by the county treasurer. Nothing in this section shall be construed to modify any consequences of untimely payment.

Sec. 5. K.S.A. 79-2925c is hereby amended to read as follows: 79-2925c. (a) (1) On and after January 1, 2017, and prior to January 1, 2021, the governing body of any city or county shall not approve any appropriation or budget which provides for funding by property tax revenues in an amount exceeding that of the next preceding year as adjusted to reflect the average changes in the consumer price index for all urban consumers as published by the United States department of labor for the preceding five calendar years, which shall not be less than zero, unless the city or county approves the appropriation or budget with the adoption of a resolution and such resolution has been submitted to and approved by a majority of the qualified electors of the city or county voting at an election called and held thereon, except as otherwise provided.

(2) The election shall be called and held in the manner provided by K.S.A. 10-120, and amendments thereto, and may be:

(A) Held at the next regularly scheduled election to be held in August or November;

(B) may be a mail ballot election, conducted in accordance with K.S.A. 25-431 et seq., and amendments thereto; or

(C) may be a special election called by the city or county. Nothing in this subsection shall prevent any city or county from holding more than one election in any year. The city or county requesting the election shall be responsible for paying all costs associated with conducting the election.

(b) A resolution by the governing body of a city or county otherwise required by the provisions of this section shall not be required to be approved by an election required by subsection (a) under the following circumstances:

(1) Increased property tax revenues that, in the current year, are produced and attributable to the taxation of:

(A) The construction of any new structures or improvements or the remodeling or renovation of any existing structures or improvements on real property, which shall not include any ordinary maintenance or repair of any existing structures or improvements on the property;

(B) increased personal property valuation;

(C) real property located within added jurisdictional territory;

(D) real property which has changed in use;

(E) expiration of any abatement of property from property tax; or

(F) expiration of a tax increment financing district, rural housing incentive district, neighborhood revitalization area or any other similar property tax rebate or redirection program.

(2) Increased property tax revenues that will be spent on:

(A) Bond, temporary notes, no fund warrants, state infrastructure loans and interest payments not exceeding the amount of ad valorem property taxes levied in support of such payments, and payments made to a public building commission and lease payments but only to the extent such payments were obligations that existed prior to July 1, 2016;

(B) payment of special assessments not exceeding the amount of ad valorem property taxes levied in support of such payments;

(C) court judgments or settlements of legal actions against the city or county and legal costs directly related to such judgments or settlements;

(D) expenditures of city or county funds that are specifically mandated by federal or state law with such mandates becoming effective on or after July 1, 2015, and loss of funds from federal sources after January 1, 2017, where the city or county is contractually obligated to provide a service;

(E) expenses relating to a federal, state or local disaster or federal, state or local emergency, including, but not limited to, a financial emergency, declared by a federal or state official. The board of county commissioners may request the governor to declare such disaster or emergency; or

(F) increased costs above the consumer price index for law enforcement, fire protection or emergency medical services.

(3) Any increased property tax revenues generated for law enforcement, fire protection or emergency medical services shall be expended exclusively for these purposes but shall not be used for the construction or remodeling of buildings.

(4) The property tax revenues levied by the city or county have declined:

(A) In one or more of the next preceding three calendar years and the increase in the amount of funding for the budget or appropriation from revenue produced from property taxes does not exceed the average amount of funding from such revenue of the next preceding three calendar years, adjusted to reflect changes in the consumer price index for all urban consumers as published by the United States department of labor for the preceding calendar year; or

(B) the increase in the amount of ad valorem tax to be levied is less than the change in the consumer price index plus the loss of assessed property valuation that has occurred as the result of legislative action, judicial action or a ruling by the board of tax appeals.

(5) Whenever a city or county is required by law to levy taxes for the financing of the budget of any political or governmental subdivision of this state that is not authorized by law to levy taxes on its own behalf, and the governing body of such city or county is not authorized or empowered to modify or reduce the amount of taxes levied therefore, the tax levies of the political or governmental subdivision shall not be included in or considered in computing the aggregate limitation upon the property tax levies of the city or county.

(6) Any tax levy increase as a result of another taxing entity being dissolved and all powers, responsibilities, duties and liabilities of the taxing entity have been transferred to a city located in the county in which the taxing entity is located, or to the county in which the taxing entity is located, to carry on the function and responsibilities of the dissolved taxing entity, so long as the levy increase does not exceed the levy of the dissolved taxing entity.

Sec. 6. K.S.A. 79-2929 is hereby amended to read as follows: 79-2929. Prior to the filing of the adopted budget with the county clerk, the governing body of each taxing or political subdivision or municipality shall meet for the purpose of answering and hearing objections of taxpayers relating to the proposed budget and for the purpose of considering amendments to such proposed budget. The governing body shall give at least 10 days’ notice of the time and place of the meeting by publication in a weekly or daily newspaper of the county having a general circulation therein. Such notice shall include the proposed budget and shall set out all essential items in the budget except such groupings as designated by the director of accounts and reports on a special publication form prescribed by the director of accounts and reports and furnished with the regular budget form. Such form shall also include the revenue neutral rate as provided in section 1, and amendments thereto. The notice of a governing body of any taxing subdivision or municipality having an annual expenditure of $500 or less shall specify the time and place of the meeting required by this section but shall not be required to include the proposed budget of such taxing subdivision or municipality.

New Sec. 7. (a) For calendar years 2022 and 2023, if a county clerk has printing or postage costs pursuant to section 1, and amendments thereto, the county clerk shall notify and provide documentation of such costs to the secretary of revenue. The secretary of revenue shall certify the amount of moneys attributable to such costs and shall transmit a copy of such certification to the director of accounts and reports. Upon such receipt of such certification, the director of accounts and reports shall transfer an amount of moneys equal to such certified amount from the state general fund to the taxpayer notification costs fund of the department of revenue. The secretary of revenue shall transmit a copy of each such certification to the director of legislative research and the director of the budget.

(b) There is hereby established in the state treasury the taxpayer notification costs fund that shall be administered by the secretary of revenue. All expenditures from the taxpayer notification costs fund shall be for the purpose of paying county printing and postage costs pursuant to section 1, and amendments thereto. All expenditures from such fund shall be made in accordance with appropriations acts upon warrants of the director of accounts and reports issued pursuant to vouchers approved by the secretary of revenue or the secretary’s designee.

Sec. 8. K.S.A. 79-1801, 79-2024, 79-2925b, 79-2925c and 79-2929 are hereby repealed.

Sec. 9. On and after July 1, 2021, K.S.A. 79-1460 is hereby repealed.

Sec. 10. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its publication in the Kansas register.