Archived Story

Commercial, ag owners will be hit hardest by ’13 county taxes

Published 8:10pm Saturday, November 24, 2012

The tax pie has shifted in Mower County, which means agricultural and commercial property owners could feel county tax increases in 2013 more than others.

That’s because both will make up a larger share of the tax pie.

In 2013, more than half the county’s taxes will come from ag land — 50.1 percent, compared to 47.2 percent in 2012, according to numbers released by county Finance Director Donna Welsh.

Commercial property will also see an increased piece of the pie, going from 9.7 percent in 2012 to 11.3 percent in 2013.

On the other hand, residential properties share of the tax burden decreased from 36.6 percent to 31.9 percent.

Industrial property remained flat at around 2.3 percent.

Welsh declined to provide averages on how types of properties will be affected by the potential 11.5 percent levy increase, but county officials have said the tax increase could be a double blow for commercial property owners, as many are already anticipating the effects of new commercial appraisals finalized over the summer that take effect in 2013.

“Some of the properties really kind of got hammered with the appraisals,” Commissioner Tony Bennett said.

Even before the increases, Austin Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sandy Forstner noted that commercial property was already taxed at a higher rate than residential property.

“There’s certainly some concern,” Forstner said.

Still, Forstner said, he’s hoping the board will be able to bring the levy down to a more manageable level.

 


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