Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Track Back on Rolls ; Property Valued at Less Than $9M, Once Estimated at Nearly $15M

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Track Back on Rolls ; Property Valued at Less Than $9M, Once Estimated at Nearly $15M

Article excerpt

The embattled Heartland Park Topeka racetrack will owe property taxes for the first time in decades but at a significantly lower value than expected.

When city manager Jim Colson in June 2014 pitched the idea of selling millions of dollars in Sales Tax Revenue (STAR) bonds to purchase the track, the appraised value was nearly $15 million. The figure was cited by city staff and council members frequently before the plan was ultimately defeated last May.

The roughly 478 acres of properties associated with Heartland Park, 7530 S.W. Topeka Blvd., were exempt from property taxes until CoreFirst Bank and Trust filed deeds for the properties in August. When the Shawnee County appraiser's office evaluated the land in September for the 2016 tax year, staff found the value was actually $8,944,330, a nearly 40 percent reduction in value. The figure was made public Tuesday along with all other property tax notices in the county.

The decrease is in large part due to the condition of the facility, said Steve Bauman, Shawnee County appraiser. Buildings on the property, including the main office, are aging and in need of repair. Bauman also cited the condition of the asphalt and track at the park.

"We're looking at it from the aspect that it's kind of a defunct track that needs a lot of work," he said.

Chris Payne, a Kansas City-area real estate developer, announced in December that he and business partner Todd Crossley would take control of the track from CoreFirst. Shortly after that announcement, the NHRA announced it had put Heartland Park back on its national schedule for 2016. Payne didn't return calls Wednesday, but told The Topeka Capital-Journal in December he was preparing the track for 2016 events.

This is one of the first significant property value inspections of the park in more than 20 years, Bauman said, because the property, which opened in 1989, has been exempt from taxes since at least 1993. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.