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Sumner County says the Kansas Star Casino is worth $153 million. That’s one of the high-stakes questions to be argued before a panel of appeals judges who will hold court this week at a Wichita magnet school. The public is invited and the judges will stick around to answer questions about the court system after the hearing.
The outcome of the case could mean millions of dollars plus or minus for the local governments in Sumner County and the casino’s owner, Boyd Gaming. Boyd Gaming is a casino giant with a dozen properties in Las Vegas and 11 more in Louisiana, Mississippi, Iowa, Indiana and Illinois.
It owns and operates the Kansas Star property and buildings, although technically the gambling part of the operation is owned by the Kansas Lottery.
The property encompasses more than 195 acres that includes the 165,000 square-foot casino and a 6,200 seat arena used for concerts and horse events.
Kansas Star has appealed its tax appraisals for 20.
Those values have risen and fallen dramatically as the cases have zigzagged through the system.
In the 2013 case, a district judge set the tax value of the casino and surrounding property at $152 million – more than the county’s appraisal of $140 million and more than double Kansas Star’s appraisal of $62 million.
In 2014, the county appraised the casino property at $153 million, while the company’s appraisal was $75 million.
The Kansas Board of Tax Appeals set the value at $97.6 million.
Kansas Star has appealed both years’ appraisals as too high and Sumner County has cross-appealed the 2014 decision, saying it’s too low.