And the Difference Is. . .

by Don on June 6, 2009

in About North Platte, Reflections

house06-1-09bOn May 27, 2009 we paid for an appraisal of our home. To our surprise our home appraised for exactly $30,485 less than the Lincoln County Assessor values it at. From our perspective that’s an enormous difference — $30,485. The difference amounts to a $621.20 difference for our property tax bill.

I’m not opposed to paying my share of tax. I appreciate and use the parks, roads, fire protection, library, police protection, sewers, and trash pickup my taxes help provide.

But, something is wrong when there is a difference between what a certified appraiser says our home is worth and what the County set its value at. Actual value according to Nebraska Statute 77-112 is defined as the market value of the property.  The last valuation notice we received said homes in our class were valued at 97% of market. So the County Assessor is saying the difference is even greater than $30,485. $30,485 is a lot of money.

I will take advantage of the opportunity to protest our evaluation with the Lincoln County Board of Adjustments. I’ve already printed the form. The Property Valuation Protest form is located here.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Joe Meuser June 6, 2009 at 1:59 pm

I sincerely hope the person hearing your tax protest is more receptive to the argument made concerning justified taxation than the City Council is when it comes to creating a new tax. Common sense and the will-of-the-people seem to have been lost somewhere along the way.

2 Don June 6, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Joe,
Thank you for your comment.

During the Council work session the discussion I heard was to consider any possible cell phone tax as part of an over all review of revenue to lower the City’s reliance on property tax. From my perspective the only reason to create an occupation tax on cell phones is if it lessens our reliance on property tax. I’ve said that from the beginning of this conversation. My understanding is the Council will look at the cell phone tax as part of the budget process.

Discovering the will-of-the-people is a difficult task. Who knows or speaks for the will of the people? What makes up the will of the people? More people have contacted me about the cell phone tax than on any other issue with two exceptions, the sandpit South and West of town and possible removal of parking on Buffalo Bill. However, the number of people who’ve spoken against the tax is only a fraction of the Ward 3 residents. And some have spoken in favor of the tax. So, how do I discover the will-of-the-people? I do believe the people of Ward 3 elected me to listen, use my reasoning ability, common sense and my judgment in representing them and the Citizens of North Platte. I’m doing what I can to listen, my phone number is in the book and on the City’s web site, my address is in the book, I do share my thoughts on my blog and I’m present in the community. I do my homework and study each issue. I do what I can. I do know, what’s best for the City is not always what’s best for individual citizens, myself included. My family and I will not be exempted from whatever action is taken.

It is clear discussing the cell phone tax has sparked something within our community. I’m fascinated and curious about the dialogue and the energy it has created. Whatever happens, I’m convinced we are all better off when bystanders become participants.

Our goal is to manage our request for the taxes paid by the people of North Platte to make the tax structure as fair and equitable as possible. Specifically one goal is to reduce the City’s reliance on property tax. The City has been effective in reducing its reliance on property tax. Property tax makes up a small percentage of the city’s revenue. I for one think the citizens of North Platte are better served by relying less on property tax to fund our local government. As we move into the next budget cycle I’m committed to doing what I can to see tax dollars spent wisely, prudently and effectively. In my opinion, I think that is the will of the people.
Peace,
Don

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