Lansing Corners’ value drops

Published 10:40 am Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Assessed value falls $140K; county board won’t abate taxes

A local man’s attempt to sell the Lansing Corners property didn’t get any easier Tuesday.

Not only is the property depreciating in value as it sits empty, but owner Tom Miller was denied a request to abate some of the $36,837 in unpaid taxes owed on the property dating back to 2007.

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Since Ron and Karen Valentine closed the restaurant in 2008, the building’s assessed value has decreased by about $140,000 from $340,800 in 2009 to $200,600. Miller said the property has been for sale around $160,000, but he hasn’t sold it.

“It’s not my opinion that I think it’s worth less,” Miller said. “It’s the assessor.”

One of the reasons the building has depreciated in value is because it’s sat empty, according to Assessor Rich Peterson.

“When a building sits empty, it deteriorates much faster,” he said.

“There’s no one around to do the little things and keep it going,” he added. “We’ve seen that happen quite often.”

When buying the property, Miller also took on the property’s unpaid taxes debt, which dates back to when Ron and Karen Valentine owned the restaurant. Had the county board abated the taxes, it would have been changing policy and setting a precedent for more tax abatements.

“It’s just unfortunate, but I don’t think there’s anything we can do,” Commissioner Jerry Reinartz said to Miller.

Lansing Corners has been vacant since the Valentine closed the restaurant in 2008, citing health reasons and the economy. Lansing corners originally opened in 1938 as a gas station and diner. The Valentines purchased the property from Lee and Donna Robbins in 1996 and later added the banquet room in 1999.

Miller was not able to answer further questions about the building or any potential sale after the meeting.