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Property values continue to rise in Nobles County

Values need to be at 90% to 105% of the market value, based on open-market, arm’s-length sales, or they must be adjusted.

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WORTHINGTON — Landowners take note: property values continue to rise in Nobles County.

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“Sales were selling for much higher than my (previous) values were,” said Val Ruesch, Nobles County assessor, during last week’s meeting of the Board of Appeal and Equalization.

The value the county places on property must be at 90% to 105% of the market value, based on open-market, arm’s-length sales (to non-family members), or they must be adjusted.

Many factors affect property values, including time trend increases, which are issued by the state. Townships saw an annual time trend increase of 17.415% for acreages and a 9.1882% time trend increase for bare land. Time trend numbers are set by the state based on sales.

Within the county, however, some bare land also received multiplier adjustments, by as much as 25% in Ransom Township and 20% in Indian Lake Township, the city of Round Lake and Leota Township. Neither Lorain Township nor Worthington Township had multiplier adjustments.

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All township residential schedules increased by 20%, though adjustments may vary significantly based on building permits, structure adjustments and other factors.

Small cities were impacted by the time trends issued by the state, Ruesch reported, which were based on a 21-month sale study. They were also impacted by an increase of 10% for all districts, reflecting the increased cost of construction, new construction, updated parcel information and other factors.

The city of Worthington received a 16.510% residential time trend increase from the state of Minnesota, based on the 21-month sales study. There were 174 open-market, arm’s length sales used to make adjustments to different areas of the town.

While changes to property values do affect property taxes, other factors do as well, including the tax levies set by local governments and changes in the local tax base.

Homestead Cooperative requests lower valuation

The Board of Appeal and Equalization heard two requests for decreases in property values during its meeting, and approved some adjustments.

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Paula Behrens spoke as a representative of the 22 homeowners of the Homestead Trust, who had requested a valuation change at their city council meeting. They received some valuation changes based on grade changes and concrete changes, but five of the homeowners had not fully completed the paperwork prior to the meeting, so Behrens brought the request — and the now-completed paperwork — to the county for an adjustment.

County commissioners, acting as the Board of Appeal and Equalization, hesitated initially to approve the adjustment because no sales figures were available for any of the properties. That, Behrens explained, was because the “homeowners” of the Homestead Trust do not technically own their homes, but instead purchase a membership in the Trust. As such, the sales figures are not public.

Commissioners pointed out that it was difficult to set a property value without any data to base it on, and after some discussion, the board floated the idea of getting the sales figures and keeping them confidential, which would allow assessors a better basis for their valuation.

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“We want to be fair to everyone, but if we don’t have the cards, we can’t play the game,” said Commissioner Donald Linssen.

The board agreed to reduce the property values for the units based on the grade changes and concrete changes.

Board acts on property values on two Adrian parcels

Eileen Henning, of Adrian, went before the board to ask about two parcels she owns with Gary Henning, which had such high values compared to similar properties nearby.

Looking into it, one of the properties includes a cold storage shed with an electrical connection. Because of that connection and because the property is just slightly over an acre in size, it must be valued the same way a “first acre” would be — which drives the value up, particularly in comparison to any similar property just slightly under an acre.

That translated to a difference in property value of approximately $20,000.

Henning had previously spoken with the city of Adrian and they opted not to change the valuation.

However, it was determined that both properties were within the Wellhead Protection Area and Flood Plain, which puts restrictions on what can be done with the property.

As such, the board lowered the values on both properties, with one going from $59,300 to $56,300 and the other from $71,600 to $68,600.

A 1999 graduate of Jackson County Central and a 2003 graduate of Augsburg College, Kari Lucin started writing for newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota in 2006. During her time as a reporter, she covered beats including education, watershed, county and agriculture, and frequently wrote about health and science. She has also served as an online content coordinator and an engagement specialist at various Forum Communications properties. She was a marketing assistant at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville for two years, where she did design work in addition to writing and social media management.

Lucin is currently a community editor with the Globe of Worthington.

Email: klucin@dglobe.com
Phone: (507) 376-7319
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