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City hears concerns about property value increases

WORTHINGTON -- Houses and lots are selling frequently and at high prices in Worthington, causing property values to rise across the board. Property values are expected to increase by about 8 percent in Worthington this year, with some neighborhoo...

WORTHINGTON -  Houses and lots are selling frequently and at high prices in Worthington, causing property values to rise across the board.

 

Property values are expected to increase by about 8 percent in Worthington this year, with some neighborhoods increasing as much as 17 percent, according to Erik Skogquist, an assessor contracted by Nobles County.

 

Before making adjustments, the city’s assessments were set at 86.11 percent of the price of properties sold recently. The city’s median ratios must be set, as required by state statute, at 90-105 percent of what houses or businesses in a neighborhood sell for.

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After making adjustments, the city’s median ratio was increased to 93.78 percent.

 

More than a dozen Worthington residents spoke with the local Board of Appeals and Equalization Wednesday about an increase to their property value. The board only approved changes to the valuation of one meeting attendee.

 

The board reduced the property value on a lot on Oxford Street from $64,700 to $34,600. Larry Davis, on behalf of his daughter and property owner Michele Carlson, noted the value had increased 337 percent from its 2017 value of $18,900. The lot is undevelopable, and is currently used for piling snow and parking cars.

 

Skogquist said the value had been increased by $24,000 because of a billboard on the lot - billboards are now being factored into the equation. Davis noted neither he or the property owner is paid for the billboard and it therefore shouldn’t be factored in. The board agreed, and reduced his value based on the billboard value and an easement.

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Several other property owners disclosed large increases in their property value. In some of those cases, the assessors agreed to come out to the property to give it a look before making changes.

 

In the case of Kim Dailey’s house, located on Nobles Street, the board encouraged Dailey to get a new appraisal done, as her valuation of $271,000 was significantly higher than the $185,000 appraisal she received in 2013.

 

For Marv Spomer’s lot on Oxford Street, the Nobles County Assessor's Office agreed to look into the ditch bordering the property and see who it is owned by, as Spomer currently pays nominal property taxes on it.  

 

Skogquist noted the median increase on properties on Oxford Street and Humiston Avenue was high - at an average of 12 percent.

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At the end of the meeting, the board approved changes to more than 30 property tax valuations that had been recommended by the assessor’s office. The largest adjustment was made to a property on 709 South Shore Drive - it’s 2018 valuation was decreased by $130,000.

 

At 6 p.m. May 14, the Worthington City Council will address potential changes in property tax valuations the board was unable to address Wednesday.

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