TOPEKA (KSNT) – It was a packed house at Monday’s Shawnee County Board of County Commissioners 2024 Budget Public Hearing. Many in attendance turned out to protest their increased property tax assessments.

After explaining how the county calculates property taxes, commissioners opened the meeting to hear from the public. While some commended commissioners for maintaining public services, the majority of those who spoke expressed outrage over large property tax increases.

The state of Kansas offers multiple tax relief programs for those who both own and occupy their homes.

The Homestead Refund is a rebate program for the property taxes paid by homeowners. The refund is based on a portion of the property tax paid on a Kansas resident’s home. The maximum refund is $700. To qualify for the Homestead Refund, the homeowner must have lived in Kansas the entire year, have a total household income of $37,750 or less and meet one of the following requirements:

  • Born before Jan. 1, 1967
  • Blind or totally and permanently disabled all of 2022, regardless of your age
  • Have a dependent child who lived with you the entire year who was born before January 1, 2022, and was under the age of 18 the entire year

SAFESR is a property tax refund program administered under the provisions of the Kansas Homestead Act. It’s also referred to as Kansas Property Tax Relief for Low Income Seniors. Those who are eligible for the program are entitled to a 75% refund on what the total paid for 2022 general property taxes.

SAFESR recipients must meet all the following requirements:

  • Kansas resident all of 2022
  • Owned a home in Kansas during 2022
  • Aged 65 years or older for all of 2022 (born before Jan. 1, 1957)
  • Household income of $22,000 or less in 2022
  • House cannot be valued at more than $350,000

The newest property tax relief program is the Senior or Disabled Veteran refund. It was signed into law in 2022. The program allows a refund of property tax for senior citizens or disabled veterans. The refund amount is the difference between the current and base year property tax amount.

Senior or Disabled Veteran Property Tax Refund recipients must meet the following criteria:

  • Household income less than $50,000
  • Aged 65 years or older OR disabled veteran
  • House must have an appraised value of $350,000 or less

Shawnee County Commissioners encouraged homeowners to look into these programs and find out if they’re eligible. Click here for more information.

No action was taken at Monday’s meeting. The commission has about a month to approve the 2024 budget. They could vote as early as Thursday.