February 15, 2017

Commission continues to field tax increase queries

By Annette Tait
Tax increases are never popular. Nor is any tax topic, especially on the heels of a state-mandated 11 percent increase in most categories of rural property assessments.
During the February County Commission meeting, Marlene Hagerott appeared before the commission to discuss the tax bill for a property she owns. Taxes on the property have steadily increased over the last several years, and Hagerott believes the rate is too high.
“I think that’s a little steep,” she said of the $950 tax bill. “It has just one floor, one bedroom, it has an attached garage. She has an office in there, you could make it a bedroom, but it would be small.”
When asked, County Tax Director Teri Schulte responded that it’s difficult to know at this point what is and isn’t reasonable.
“With the state raising the taxes last year, I don’t know what’s excessive anymore,” Schulte said. “Our values are all over the place out in the country. That’s why we’re doing the reassessment.”
Hagerott wanted to know if there is any way to get relief from the increased taxes. Ann Mahoney, standing in for County Attorney John Mahoney, referred to North Dakota Century Code for the appeal process. Any property owner who wishes to request an abatement to a tax bill may do so up until November of the “year following the year” in which taxes became “delinquent.”

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