Commercial property owners could see changes

Published 10:37 am Monday, April 2, 2012

Commercial property owners will likely shoulder a larger portion of the tax burden next year.

At its 1 p.m. Tuesday meeting, the county board will discuss the commercial property reassessments recently completed by Vanguard Appraisals.

County Coordinator Craig Oscarson said the assessments, which would take effect in 2013 if finalized, show commercial property values in the county increasing overall by about 29 percent. However, Oscarson said it’s difficult to tell how much of the increase came from new construction and how much was caused by only value increases.

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The reassessments do not add any new taxes to the county; it simply shifts the tax burden from residential and agriculture land. Oscarson said new assessments likely mean a shift from residential properties to commercial properties.

The need for a mass reappraisal came after county staff noticed discrepancies in commercial property values, according to Assessor Rich Peterson.

In order to get the appraisals done quickly, the board hired Vanuard to do them all at once.

The values were mailed out in mid-March and Vanguard will host meetings for property owners in early April to discuss concerns or questions with their assessment.

Peterson urged commercial property owners to talk to Vanguard at their informal meetings.

He also said people should bring additional information on the property that could affect the value.

The county board of equalization will be held around June as another point for business owners to discuss valuations.

In other business:

—The board will hold a Conditional Use Permit hearing on a request by Veit Domolition Debris Facility to amend its existing CUP. The landfill, located just outside Austin on U.S. Highway 218, is seeking permission to take accept waste that includes a kind of Asbestos, according Oscarson.

—The board will accept the resignations of Harlen Peck and Al Layman from the Cedar River Watershed Board.

—The county board will also set a hearing date on redistricting the commissioners’ districts.