TERC Considering Boosting Dawes County Land Values

The Nebraska Tax Equalization and Review Commission is considering a proposal to increase valuations in northern Dawes County. The Department of Revenue made the request to TERC to boost valuations in the northern half of the county by 16%. That is in addition to a roughly 20% increase already made due to higher land values. In a interview with KNEB/Rural Radio Network, Dawes County Assessor Lindy Coleman says because a 3-year window of sales used to calculate market value, valuations will automatically increase.

Coleman says several lower-priced sales go out of the formula next year, replaced by steadily rising pricesÂ…with the revenue department proposing higher valuations this year to lessen the expected jump next year.

Coleman doesn't agree with revenue department's request. She says the state should not predict there will be higher land values next year. She says the land valuations need to be on current land sales.

State law requires that valuations be based on sales, but with ag land valued at between 69-and-75% of market value. Coleman currently uses 70% and says the department's proposal would go beyond the allowed range and require a waiver from TERC.

Without the 16 percent increase, Dawes County is looking at taxes going up $30 an acre. If the request from the department of revenue goes through, Coleman says landowners could see taxes going up more than $50 an acre over the last year to over $200 an acre.

Coleman says land valuations have not been made available to the public in waiting for the decision from TERC.

Higher land taxes will hurt ag producers that are battled wildfires last summer and the region remains impacted by the severe drought.

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