BISMARCK, N.D. - The Burleigh County Board of Equalization heard no public opposition to $7.32 billion in property valuations proposed by county Tax Director Al Vietmeier on Monday. The figure includes a 12.9 percent across-the-board increase for agricultural property.
The overall valuation approved for 2013 is a 14 percent increase. Property taxes will be based on those values when the taxes come out in December.
Burleigh County’s agricultural land values rose from $248.4 million to $280.4 million. Vietmeier said that adjusts the ag land value to an average of $300 per acre.
For 50 minutes after the meeting, Gibbs and Apple Creek township officials challenged Vietmeier’s comments from a May county commission meeting over property values. Vietmeier said their township assessor had omitted dozens of homes from the property tax rolls and misvalued several others.
Vietmeier said he found completed homes not assessed that were featured in the local “Parade of Homes” tour and partially completed homes that were not placed on the tax rolls as state law requires.
The same assessor, hired separately by each township,“didn’t do his job,” Vietmeier said. Apple Creek Township has hired Roger Thompson to do its assessing for the past two years. Gibbs Township has hired Thompson for one year.
Vietmeier said he didn’t blame the townships, but the assessor.
In May, Vietmeier said he intended to seek a re-assessment of Apple Creek Township. He said his staff had enough time to correct misvalued property in Gibbs Township so no contractor has to reassess that township.
Apple Creek Township Chairman Kerry Olson said the township board discussed Thompson’s assessments in an open township meeting Monday evening.
“We still believe we can correct this ourselves. We’re looking for more information on the assessments from the county assessor to further investigate,” Olson said.
Gibbs Township Chairman John Hauck also said his board would meet to discuss Vietmeier’s complaints about Thompson, but declined comment after Monday’s equalization meeting.
Non-agricultural property values varied and were not given a blanket rate adjustment, according to Vietmeier. His estimates show:
- The entire county’s commercial land value’s increased an average of 9.09 percent, from $542.2 million to $591.42 in total value.
- Residential land values jumped an average of 20.2 percent countywide — increasing from $749.34 million to $900.57 million.
- Commercial building values countywide rose an average of 15.4 percent, from $1.27 billion to $1.47 billion.
- Residential building values for the county increased 13 percent, Vietmeier said — from $3.61 billion to $4.08 billion.
Vietmeier said Bismarck made up a majority of the property value increases.
- The city’s commercial land and building values jumped by 14 percent with a value of $1.94 billion.
- The city’s residential land and building properties value increased by 14.6 percent with a value of $3.59 billion.
- Agricultural land values in the city only increased by .01 percent to $575,200.
Non-Bismarck properties had an average 12.9 percent increase in value.
- Agricultural land outside the city increased in value by 12.9 percent from $247.8 million to $279.8 million
- Commercial land and building property values outside Bismarck increased by an average of 6.27 percent — from $110.86 million to $117.8 million.
- Residential land and building values outside Bismarck increased by an average a value of 13.5 percent — from $1.23 billion to $1.4 billion.