Published On: Thu, Jan 30th, 2014

Knox Supervisors told of valuation jump

CENTER — Valuations, for tax purposes, could be going up in Knox County.

County Assessor Monica McManigal talked to the County Supervisors about the preliminary figures in the 2014 sales ratios.

Valuations – for tax purposes – are based on the selling price of property.

McManigal has been reviewing the sales that have occurred in Knox County.

Valuations on irrigated and dry crop land could all be going up this year according to McManigal.

“Nothing is in stone yet although we have been working on it for a couple of weeks. It is all very time consuming. We are still working on the sales ratios,” McManigal said. “It looks like valuations will have to go up. Valuations on irrigated land could take a 25 percent jump. Dry land will also go up. Grassland will stay close to the same but will go up a little.”

 

If land owners are pumping out of a lagoon, the land value is a little cheaper than regular irrigation, according to McManigal.

Soil types along with land use – whether dry crop, irrigated or grassland – affect the valuations on agricultural land.

Over the last several years farm land sales in Knox County have reflected the need for the county to be split in three market areas due to the distinct difference in the sales that are occurring across the county.

 

Grass land in Area Three – which covers the northeast portion of the county and then slants down to the southwest, will have to go up.

Pasture land in the rural area around Wausa will stay close to the same value as last year, according to McManigal.

“It looks like the increase would only be one or two percent in the Wausa area,” McManigal said.

Sales from the three previous years are included in the sales ratio for agricltural land. Sales in neighboring counties will also be considered.

 

Sales from the last two years are used to set the residential valuations and sales from one year are used for the commercial valuations, according to McManigal.

September 2013 was the cut off date for the sales that are used in this year’s sales ratio.

“There are always some changes every year. We have to look at the sales in the lake area and in each town,” McManigal said. “Residential valuations are at 90 percent they will have to go up a little. Commercial properties will stay about the same – could be a slight increase.  There will probably be no major changes in the towns.”

 

Valuations for tax purposes are based on the selling price of property.

State law mandates the assessed value on property must fall within a range which is established by the Legislature.

Currently the statute states residential and commercial property must be valued between 92 to 100 percent of the real estate sales while the range for agricultural land is placed at 69 to 75 percent.

 

An abstract, which will include the new valuations for 2014, has to be submitted to the Nebraska Dept. of Revenue by March 19th.

Each year in April, members of the Tax Equalization and Review Committee (TERC) review the statistics for each county. If a county is not within the man-dated range, an order is issued for the county to comply.

In order to have a deed recorded at the courthouse when property is sold a Real Estate Transfer Statement, Form 521, has to be filled out and signed and submitted to the Dept. of Revenue.

The information on Form 52 includes the selling price and the assessed value of the property.

“We have no choice,” McManigal said. “The state gets a copy of all the sales that come across the desk.”

Notices on valuation changes have to be mailed out to property owners by June 1.

 

A raise in valuation does not necessarily mean there will be an increase in taxes.

The market sets the value but tax requests from the political subdivisions determine the taxes.

It all depends on the amount of money that is asked for in the budgets submitted by taxing entities, which include towns, school districts, fire districts, natural resource districts, education service units, NE Community College, townships and the county.

 

With the valuations going up, hopefully the levy would go down McManigal said.

Supervisor Norman Mackeprang said it is important for property owners to go to the hearings when the budgets and levies are set.

“They come to us and complain the taxes are too high. But yet hardly anyone goes to a school board meeting,” Mackeprang said. “Since the farm land value is going up the only hope for farmers is if something gets done in Lincoln. Something needs to be done with the state aid.”

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