The countdown: Top stories of 2012, No. 15-6Published 11:43am Monday, December 31, 2012
13. Business owners feeling pinch from property value increases
After months of discussion, appeals and heated talk, a costly change for many property owners is about to take affect.
The county board approved new valuations on all commercial properties in the county, a change that saw commercial property values in the county increasing overall by about 29 percent.
The county hired Vanguard Appraisals to completely redo the commercial property assessments after county workers found discrepancies in current values. The company assessed new values from scratch, meaning it based values on recent sales of similar properties and not a property’s current assessed value.
As a high number of business owners faced steep value and tax increases, many appealed their values to Vanguard and the board, though many expressed displeasure with the results.
Some — including Commissioner Jerry Reinartz —questioned if enough sales have occurred for accurate comparisons, and questioned Vanguard for using sales from five years ago and sales from out of town.
Property owners argued the new appraisals placed an unnecessary tax burden on businesses.
People like Jeff Carney, owner of Carney Auto and City Car Wash, said tax hikes and the new values will negatively affect the business community.
“You’re driving small businesses out of town,” Carney said in December.
Still, the new values take affect with the new year.
—By Jason Schoonover