New commercial assessments bad for county and taxpayers

Published 10:51 am Thursday, April 26, 2012

Letter to the Editor

The Mower County Board of Commissioners hired Vanguard Appraisals to reappraise all commercial property in the county for a fee of approximately $275,000.

There was a new tax statement sent out just a few weeks ago stating our new values.When I met with the Vanguard representative, I asked about comps, and where they came up with the values. The individual said there was a state book that they use for comps. So, if you own a hotel, you might be compared to a hotel in Blaine or Alexandria. This is like doing appraisals at 30,000 feet and really does not give an accurate value of local sales in the county.

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We have two commercial properties in Racine, Minn., a nice town of about 400 people. I do not feel that my property should be compared to a property in Rochester, Zumbrota or Bemidji. I want comps and sales from the area, or at least the county. We have a property that they have valued, so we will have a $30,000 per year tax liability. I do not believe for a second that I would have purchased a property with a $30,000 per year tax liability. We started out at about $7,000 per year. That is one large jump. This is going to affect every commercial property in the county when it comes time to sell our building or land.

I urge everyone that is paying commercial taxes to please contact their county commissioner and go to the open book meeting at 9 a.m., Friday, April 27. Our voices need to be heard. In order to appeal your values, you must either attend that meeting or send them something in writing that you are appealing your value by that meeting.

Tony Warmka,

Grand Meadow