Homeowners Worried About Property Taxes As Appraisals Rise


In a growing neighborhood of Bennington, Adam Gibson has lived with his wife and stepmother for almost seven years. “My mother-in-law put the money on the house and then we found one in the budget,” Gibson said. Then Gibson got their updated real estate valuation for 2021. “We thought we weren’t going to be able to afford it,” Gibson said. Gibson’s valuation jumped $ 101,300 this year, a 38% increase from 2020. Under the current levy rate, that would represent nearly $ 300 more each month in property taxes. “This was going to be our home forever, and now it’s in the air,” Gibson said. It’s a refrain that KETV Newswatch 7 has heard from property owners time and time again this year as new reviews are sent out. As part of a series on property valuations in Douglas and Sarpy counties, we reported that state law requires properties to be valued at market rates – essentially, what they could sell for. . As selling prices rise in the bustling housing market, so do valuations. Jim Vokal, CEO of the Platte Institute, said these rising valuations mean tax entities should make more money, without raising tax rates. “Appraisals have increased dramatically. But what hasn’t happened is counties, cities, school districts, other political subdivisions that are actually lowering rates to compensate for appraisal increases. what’s happening is they get a windfall beyond budget expectations, and they spend it, “said Vokal. According to the Douglas County Assessor, initial projections show a jump of $ 3 billion in the county’s total valuation, an increase of 6% from last year. In Sarpy County, the assessor said projections show a $ 1.2 billion jump in total valuation, an increase of 7%. The two counties, exceeding the rate of inflation. KETV Newswatch 7 has contacted cities and school districts to see if they plan to reduce their levies based on these increased assessments. said they were still in the process of evaluating budgets. According to the Tax Foundation, Nebraska has the 8th highest property tax rate in the country. The Platte Institute said property taxes just don’t need to be such a large slice of the revenue pie in Cornhusker state. “If you look across the country, in the states that are fundamentally doing tax modernization and tax reform than we should be doing in Nebraska, they are doing it by removing those exclusions, removing the sales tax exemptions.” Vokal said. Another local group, Open Sky Policy Institute, also supports expanding the sales tax base. Although the organization does not support the taxation of items like groceries, it says that there are nearly 100 taxed services in other parts of the country that are not taxed here in Nebraska. This type of reform is something Senator Tom Briese has called for in the legislature. Senator d’Albion said that he had seen those appraisals increase in farm properties for years. “It’s a problem, and now it arises in urban areas,” Briese said. Briese has tried to cap property taxes – no more than 3% increase each year born, with a few exceptions. The bill failed on a 29 to 8 vote. “This 3% legislation would have been very helpful in moving forward in this environment,” Briese said. The majority of property tax revenue in Douglas and Sarpy counties goes to school districts. Briese said the current formula encourages districts to take full advantage of available property tax revenues. “The more resources a school district has, the less it can get Equalization assistance. The fact that property values ​​go up means these districts have more resources,” Briese said, “and that reduces the amount of state aid granted to them. ” Briese thinks there is a better way to fund education than to rely so heavily on property taxes. “We have to force the state to take a bigger share of the bill,” he said. Briese agreed with others that getting rid of sales tax exemptions would be a way to bring more money to the state level and fund education. He calls for comprehensive tax reform, and people like Adam Gibson want to see that too. look, it’s harder to own a home, ”Gibson said.

In a growing neighborhood of Bennington, Adam Gibson has lived with his wife and stepmother for almost seven years.

“My mother-in-law put the money on the house and then we found one in the budget,” Gibson said.

Next, Gibson got their updated real estate valuation for 2021.

“We thought we weren’t going to be able to afford it,” Gibson said.

Gibson’s valuation has jumped $ 101,300 this year, a 38% increase from 2020.

Under the current tax rate, that would represent almost $ 300 more each month in property taxes.

“This was going to be our home forever, and now it’s in the air,” Gibson said.

It’s a refrain that KETV Newswatch 7 has heard from property owners time and time again this year as new reviews are sent out.

As part of a series on property valuations in Douglas and Sarpy counties, we reported that state law requires properties to be valued at market rates – essentially, what they could sell for. . As selling prices rise in the bustling housing market, so do valuations.

Jim Vokal, CEO of the Platte Institute, said these rising valuations mean tax entities should make more money, without raising tax rates.

“Appraisals have increased dramatically. But what hasn’t happened is counties, cities, school districts, other political subdivisions that are actually lowering rates to compensate for appraisal increases. what happens is they get a bargain beyond budget expectations, and they spend it, ”Vokal said.

According to the Douglas County Assessor, initial projections show a $ 3 billion jump in the county’s total valuation, a 6% increase from last year.

In Sarpy County, the assessor said projections show a jump of $ 1.2 billion in total valuation, a 7% increase. The two counties, exceeding the rate of inflation.

KETV Newswatch 7 has contacted cities and school districts to see if they plan to reduce their levies based on these increased assessments. Most said they were still evaluating budgets.

According to Tax foundation, Nebraska has the 8th highest property tax rate in the country.

The Platte Institute said property taxes just don’t need to be such a large slice of the revenue pie in Cornhusker state.

“If you look across the country, in the states that are fundamentally doing tax modernization and tax reform than we should be doing in Nebraska, they are doing it by removing those exclusions, removing the sales tax exemptions.” , Vokal said.

Another local group, the Open Sky Policy Institute, is also supporting broadening the sales tax base.

While the organization does not support the taxation of items like groceries, it does indicate that there are nearly 100 taxed services in other parts of the country that are not taxed here in Nebraska.

This type of reform is something Senator Tom Briese has called for in the legislature.

The Senator from Albion said he had seen those valuations increase in farm properties for years.

“It’s a problem, and now it arises in urban areas,” Briese said.

Briese has tried to cap property taxes – no more than a 3% increase each year, with a few exceptions.

The bill failed on a 29-8 vote.

“This 3% legislation would have been very helpful in moving forward in this environment,” Briese said.

The majority of property tax revenue in Douglas and Sarpy counties goes to school districts.

Briese said the current formula encourages districts to take full advantage of available property tax revenues.

“The more resources a school district has, the less it can get in Equalization aid. The fact that property values ​​go up means these districts have more resources,” Briese said, “and that reduces the amount of state aid they receive. awarded. “

Briese believes there is a better way to fund education than to rely so heavily on property taxes.

“We have to force the state to take more of the note,” he said.

Briese agreed with others that getting rid of sales tax exemptions would be a way to bring more money to the state level and fund education.

He’s calling for comprehensive tax reform, and people like Adam Gibson want to see that too.

“The way I see it is that it’s harder to own a house,” Gibson said.



Source link

Comments are closed.