How To Pay Your Kansas Excise Tax

Kansas’ personal property tax on vehicles—sometimes called excise tax—will vary depending on your county and the value of your car.
Written by Mary Alice Morris
Reviewed by Pat Roache
If you live in Kansas, you’ll be charged an annual tax based on a mill levy, or local property tax rate, assessed on a 30% value of your vehicle’s current fair market value.   
Let’s face it: taxes aren’t fun for anyone—and they can be confusing! But you have to keep your taxes paid and up-to-date to avoid serious legal consequences and other complications. For instance, failing to pay your property taxes in Kansas will prevent you from registering your vehicle!
To help you navigate your Kansas vehicle property tax,
car insurance
expert is here with a guide to help you figure out and pay your Kansas excise tax. We’ll also share some tips to help you save on your
Kansas car insurance costs
Compare auto insurance policies
No spam or unwanted phone calls · No long forms
Find insurance savings

What is an excise tax in Kansas?

Excise taxes are typically taxes applied to individual items in addition to sales taxes. The difference is that while sales taxes are paid as a percentage of a purchase amount, excise taxes are usually flat-rate amounts paid per item for specific things.
In Kansas, excise taxes are charged on cigarettes, alcohol, tires, gasoline, cell phones, and vehicle rentals. Some states charge an annual excise tax for your
vehicle registration
, too. Kansas instead applies various registration fees that are payable to each county’s treasurer's office. 
When it comes to vehicle ownership, though, you aren’t technically charged a true excise tax in Kansas. You’ll pay sales tax, which varies by county, and then each year you’ll have to pay property taxes, too. Like sales tax, your personal property tax rate can vary by county, city, and even school district! 
Each year, you’ll receive paperwork from your county assessor with an inquiry about your personal property. When you fill it out and return it, the assessor’s office will determine how much property tax you owe. For vehicles, the tax rate in Kansas is assessed on an amount equal to 30% of your car’s current value
That means if you own a car valued at $30,000, the local tax rate will not be assessed on the entire $30,000 value. Rather, it will be assessed on $9,000, or 30% of the vehicle’s value. The amount you’ll be billed is based on a unique formula. 
The $9,000 taxable value for the car above would be multiplied by your area’s mill levy. This varies by location, but across the state, the average mill levy rate is 134.245. The total of the two numbers multiplied is then divided by 1,000, and the resulting figure is your property tax. 
For more information on your personal property’s valuation and assessment, visit the
Kansas Department of Revenue’s
property valuation portal.
Key Takeaway The Kansas property tax is collected annually and assessed using your area’s mill levy and based on 30% of your car’s current appraised value.
MORE: Kansas gas tax

Calculating your property tax payment

If you want to plan ahead for your tax bill, the Kansas Department of Revenue has an excellent tool to check out—a
vehicle property tax estimator
. You can easily get an estimate of what you’ll owe by entering your car’s VIN.
Or, you can look up your car by make and model. Then indicate which county you live in and the tool will generate an estimate that you’ll be billed. 
The number might not be exactly accurate, but it should be close and can help you budget before your tax bill is due. For instance, if you own a 2021
Chevrolet Equinox Premier
that you register in Osage County, Kansas, then your estimated property tax payment should be around $768.12.

Penalties for nonpayment

In Kansas, your personal property taxes are due each year in December. If you miss a payment, an interest charge will be tacked on each month that your taxes are late. For 2023, the interest rate on personal property will be 4%. 
The interest rate for unpaid property taxes on real property, which includes land and buildings, is much higher at a whopping 9%. If your personal property taxes for cars and other assessed items remain unpaid by October after the initial due date, they’ll be sent to the local newspaper for publication. You’ll be assessed a newspaper publication fee on top of your tax bill.
Additionally, some Kansas counties will notify the sheriff’s office if your personal property taxes become delinquent. The sheriff’s office will issue a property tax warrant, which will then be processed by the district court clerk. 
This property tax warrant is sometimes called a tax lien, and it gives the government legal authority to collect your tax debt, plus other charges due as a result of your delinquent tax status. Those charges could include accrued interest, treasurer’s fees, court costs, and newspaper publication costs.
Let Jerry find your price in only 45 seconds
No spam · No long forms · No fees
Find insurance savings

How to avoid property tax in Kansas

Unless you plan to lead a life free of major possessions, you probably won’t be avoiding annual property taxes in Kansas anytime soon. Of course, if the vehicle or property in question belongs to a non-taxpaying entity, like a nonprofit organization or public school, then property taxes won’t be billed. 
Otherwise, most individuals who own cars or real property in Kansas will have to pay property taxes. But, there are state programs offering relief for low-income and elderly property owners:
  • Homestead Property Tax Refund: This rebate program will refund homeowners a portion of their property taxes and is based on income. 
  • Senior or Disabled Veteran Property Tax Refund: Disabled American veterans and seniors can apply for a portion of their property taxes to be refunded.
  • SAFESR Property Tax Relief: SAFESR, or Safe Senior, is a program that will refund as much as 75% of the property taxes paid by low-income seniors in Kansas. 
You can get more information on these programs from your county tax assessor’s office. 
Another option to cut your property tax bill is applying for a tax abatement. Tax abatements are tax refund or reduction programs aimed at stimulating local economic growth. 
That means if your personal or real property is used for a new business or an expansion of an existing business, you can apply for a tax abatement to your county’s board of commissioners or your city government. Check out the Kansas Department of Revenue’s
property tax abatement
webpage for more information on who qualifies. 

How to save on car insurance in Kansas

If you’re stressed about saving enough to pay your tax bill in Kansas, we can help. After all, saving money is what
specializes in! 
Jerry is a
trustworthy insurance shopping super app
that helps users save more than just time by comparison shopping for them. It also helps people save money! In fact, the average Jerry user saves $800+ a year on car insurance!
It only takes about 45 seconds to get started, and once Jerry is in your corner, we stay in your corner. Jerry will automatically shop for more car insurance savings every six months, so you’ll always know if there’s a better deal for you! 
saved me $100 a month! They canceled my current policy (even getting me a refund) and switched me to Progressive. All very simple and easy!” —Tara Y.
Haven’t shopped for insurance in the last six months? There might be hundreds $$$ in savings waiting for you.
Judith switched to Progressive
icon savingsSaved $725 annually
Alexander switched to Travelers
icon savingsSaved $834 annually
Annie switched to Nationwide
icon savingsSaved $668 annually
Reduce your monthly car payments in minutes?
Find out if Jerry can reduce your payments by an average of $150/month
Check your rate!

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings