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County board approves appraisal values

By Staff | Jun 3, 2016

The Pierce County Commission voted to approve property values, including recommended changes, for the county Wednesday morning at the county’s tax equalization meeting.

The board, minus District 4 Commissioner Duane Johnston, met with Tax Director Kelsey Siegler and Robert Ehler, president of Vanguard Appraisals-a Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based mass appraisal company that did property assessments in the county.

Ehler said the appraisal process began by looking at property records. After that, inspectors came in and gathered information for appraisers. Using the information gathered, replacement costs were generated for the properties; the costs were then compared with land and houses sold; then depreciation scales were applied to come up with valuations.

Ehler said that some inconsistencies had been found throughout the process.

“Your old information was riddled with errors,” Ehler said. One area Ehler said that was wrong was how old properties were.

Dennis Fred questioned the valuations of three properties in the county, two of them in the city of Rugby.

Robert Graber questioned what mill levies were based on, saying the “main concern” was that property taxes could increase along with valuations. Ehler said that taxes could potentially decrease, however Commission Chairman Dave Migler said it would be impossible to predict what the tax rates would be.

Another area resident questioned how value increases on Silva lots located in Elverum Township were “justified.”

The board also approved inundated land applications, including applications from Hagel and White townships that were denied at the township level.

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