Classic Chevy Corvette Owner Surprised by 1,177 Percent Tax Hike on Parts Car

This C3 Corvette owner saw taxes on his non-running parts car massively go up in just a year.

byJames Gilboy|
A C3 Chevy Corvette owner and newscaster stand behind a parts car in Kansas
KMBC 9 on YouTube


The owner of two 1979 Chevrolet Corvettes is in a tussle with a Kansas county after being taxed more than 11 times what they'd previously paid in fees to own their Corvette parts car.

Don Hawley is the owner of a pair of 1979 C3 Chevy Corvettes, one a road car, one a parts car he uses to keep the other on the road, according to KMBC 9. It's just a roller; it has no drivetrain or interior and a disabled fuel system, which is why he was able to buy it for $1,000 in 2015. It's not worth much to anyone, so he's never paid more than $61 in taxes annually. That changed last year when Hawley was taxed $718 for the car—a fee Hawley felt "was pretty unrealistic for a car frame."

Don Hawley stands next to his 1979 Chevrolet Corvette parts car. KMBC 9 on Youtube

Hawley reached out to the Douglas County Appraiser's Office for an explanation and learned his car had been revalued that year according to state standards. Kansas reportedly relies on NADA and JD Power value estimates to appraise vehicles, though if this data is absent, it uses the purchase price, which Hawley's taxes had historically been based on. Evidently, the state obtained the NADA data in 2022, which valued his car at $12,100 on paper. According to a county statement issued to KMBC 9, the Appraiser's Office informed Hawley of the change in May via a Notice of Value Change.

Because the shell of a C3 isn't worth 12 grand in any world, Hawley, contacted the Appraiser's Office on Nov. 30 and was informed he had recourse. The office issued him a Payment Under Protest application and instructed him how and when to file, as well as advised him to submit further documentation to correct the county's appraisal.

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Hawley reportedly acknowledged receiving the application but hadn't filed it as of Dec. 29. The county also said it had not received his 2022 Personal Property rendition form. Hawley reportedly claimed no knowledge of the Payment Under Protest application's Dec. 20 deadline (which is specified in the document), and disagreed with the county's value appraisal but said he would file the paperwork anyway.

"It's an affordable hobby, but being punished with the taxes, that's inappropriate," Hawley told the station.

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