Archive for Monday, May 17, 2010

Local governments preparing for sizable drop in local property tax values

Property values are expected to go down two to three percent this year.

May 17, 2010


Local governments in Douglas County are preparing to deal with a 3 percent decrease in property valuation as they work on their budgets for next year.

“We’ve always said the 2011 budget year was going to be the most challenging one for us,” said Douglas County Administrator Craig Weinaug.

The revenue projections are based on early estimates for county property values as the appraiser’s office has finished protest hearings. Weinaug said the property tax revenue estimates still could change based on items that are state-assessed, like railroads and public utilities.

The reduction could be a good news, bad news story.

For one, it could have been worse. Last year during the depths of the recession county officials were warning about a potential 7 percent to 8 percent decrease.

“By the time the end of the year came around, sales had done a little better than we anticipated,” Douglas County Appraiser Steve Miles said.

Miles credited the federal homebuyer tax credit with helping boost residential home sales toward the end of the year.

He said most residential properties valued from $150,000 to $300,000 mostly stayed the same, but homes valued at more than $300,000 saw more decreases in value than the midrange ones. The county’s commercial and industrial properties stayed roughly the same in value.

The valuation has dropped another 1 percent because of appeals, Miles said.

A 3 percent decline in assessed valuation would still be the largest in the county’s tax base in at least 20 years.

It will complicate the summer budget process for local governments because it means their current property tax levels won’t raise as much revenue as last year.

Weinaug said Douglas County commissioners will face a decision about helping some social service agencies that have recently lost funding because of state budget cuts.

Rick Doll, Lawrence schools superintendent, said Friday it will bring a challenge for the school board because it has already cut $4.6 million for next year because of state-funding reductions.


steveguy 7 years, 10 months ago

Our property tax valuation went up $68,000, 47%

finance 7 years, 10 months ago

oskiejackie: you're a genius. Well spoken, well punctuated, well...just welling over with adoration for your flimsy weak mind. I have a better idea: let's cut you out of the human race. Oops: already done by natural selection. Silly me. Goodbye, we won't miss you.

finance 7 years, 10 months ago

steveguy: you were under-appraised in the first place. Without your data, I can't check your math, but I am certain my first assessment was right--you've been underpaying all along. And now you want to complain? Jeez.

Shardwurm 7 years, 10 months ago

Let me get this straight...someone is crediting a tax break for improving the situation?

I'm not sure I can get my arms around that concept.

levicircle2 7 years, 10 months ago

Shard - while it's true that such a policy does seem counterintuitive, it has been promoted for years:

"In short, it is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low, and the soundest way to raise the revenue in the long run is to cut the rates now. The experience of a number of European countries and Japan has borne this out. This country's own experience with tax reduction in 1954 has borne this out. And the reason is that only full employment can balance the budget, and tax reduction can pave the way to that employment. The purpose of cutting taxes now is not to incur a budget deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy which can bring about budget surplus." - John F. Kennedy, in a speech at the Economic Club of New York, December 14, 1962.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 10 months ago

The county increases property values and some get very excited. BUT how can anyone get excited over that which increases YOUR taxes through the back door.

The county assessment does not represent true market value. However it is there for officials to increases YOUR taxes to cover the cost of adding NEW waterlines,building more new residential, cover the cost of economic displacement, tax abatements,tax increment financing,tax rebates and all other sorts of corporate welfare ==== none of which pays for itself.

So the powers that be encourage increasing the value of OUR property which for some reason makes people smile but in reality it is a back door tax increase. The reality is that government assessed property values do not represent market value.

Gee how will USD 497 ever pay for that $20 million athletic fiasco? By closing more educational buildings?

Taxpayers CANNOT afford any more NEW city/county land expansion.

avoice 7 years, 10 months ago

levicircle2 says, "...only full employment can balance the budget..."

This is the number one goal that everyone should be looking toward. Instead of crawling over one another to beat money out of people or programs, we should be making job creation priority one. If we were to successfully focus on that, then the rest of the financial woes would work themselves out as people generating income also generate social programs, infrastructure, purchasing, etc. -- which generates more jobs and more income.

yankeevet 7 years, 10 months ago

Smart thing to do...........................RENT AND attorney told me that..... and don't own nuttin...........

svenway_park 7 years, 10 months ago

Well, sure, if I were JFK speaking to the NY Economic Club, I would want to give them red meat too.

bad_dog 7 years, 10 months ago

Hmm. How long until the mill levy is raised?

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