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Assessed Land Values Increase

By Staff | Apr 8, 2016

The values of land in Pierce County have changed.

Based on new rates, Pierce County Tax Director Kelsey Siegler said the assessed value for commercial and residential land has increased by 53 percent. However, factoring in agricultural land, the overall increase in true and full valuations for the county is 19 percent.

The appraisal project, which was done by Vanguard Appraisals, began in January 2015 and assessments were turned in to the tax director’s office in December. The company determined values by reviewing sales, cost and income information; inspecting current property characteristics; calculating replacement costs for improvements; and adjusting replacement costs with physical depreciation, functional and economic obsolescence determined by analysis of sales and income data.

Siegler said the project was conducted to update all assessment information, as assessments in the past were based on information that was “outdated, and in many cases inaccurate.”

“Many people are under the impression that the reappraisal was conducted to increase property taxes,” Siegler said. “This is not the case.”

Siegler said that property valuations are only one part of the calculation to determine property taxes, as city, county and school district budgets determine the amount of revenue need to be raised by property taxes. The budget amounts are then divided by assessed values to determine rates. Siegler said that if the city, county and school district budgets remain stable, the property tax rate could decrease.

“Therefore, just because a property has realized an increase in value as a result of this project it does not mean that the properties taxes will increase accordingly,” Siegler said. “In fact, properties that realized decreases in assessments, or an increase less than the overall average may actually see decreases in the amount or property tax they will be required to pay.”

Siegler added that property owners should ask if the current assessment of a property’s value is “an accurate reflection” of what it could sell for if it were on the market right now.

The city of Rugby will hold an appraisal/tax equalization meeting Tuesday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the Otter Tail Power Company meeting room. Pierce County will hold an equalization meeting in June.

Property information can be found online at pierce.northdakotaassessors.com.

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