TOPICS AND INSIGHT THAT AFFECT OUR MEMBERS
Understanding Your Valuation
Real property must be valued uniformly and proportionately in Nebraska. All property in Nebraska is subject to property tax, unless an exemption is mandated or permitted by the Nebraska Constitution or by legislation. Real property is assessed each year as of January 1, at 12:01 a.m.
The county assessor is required to inspect all parcels of real property in the county no less frequently than every six years. Nebraska Revised Statute 77-1311.03 The Washington County Assessor’s Office will be continuing the 6-year review process of the county pursuant to Nebraska State statute 77-1311.03. If a property owner has questions or concerns, please call the Assessor’s Office at 402-426-6800. The office staff will be checking the records and updating the photos of parcels in the southeastern area of the county as well as the northern half of the county this year.
Why do Property valuations change? There are a variety of reason, including but not limited to:
• Fluctuations in current market trends and conditions
• Additions of new improvements
• Remodels or rehabilitations of existing improvements
• Destruction or removal of improvements
• Positive or adverse outside influences upon the property
• An order for value increases mandated by the Tax Equalization and Review Commission
The Property Tax Administrator at the state shall annually make and issue comprehensive assessment ratio studies of the average level of assessment, the degree of assessment uniformity, and the overall compliance with assessment requirements for each major class of real property subject to the property tax in each county. The assessment ratio studies shall be developed in compliance with professionally accepted mass appraisal techniques and shall use statistics deemed appropriate by the Property Tax Administrator. These are based upon the sales file used by the Property Tax Administrator for the analysis of the level of value and quality of assessment for purposes (please refer to section 77-5027). The commission shall, raise or lower the valuation of any class or subclass of real property in a county when it is necessary to achieve equalization (please refer to section 77-5026). As mentioned in section 77-5023 an acceptable range of variation for agricultural and horticultural land is 69-75% of actual value; and all other real property is 92-100% of actual value. (section 77-102 Actual value defined- Actual value of real property for purposes of taxation means the market value of real property in the ordinary course of trade,)
Tax rates are established as a result of a budgetary process. Each governmental agency provides a budget that will cover the cost of maintaining their respective agency for a fiscal year. The budget requirements are totaled, and that amount is divided by the total assessed value of property for that subdivision to establish the tax rate. The tax rate is stated as a percent or amount due for each $100 of assessed value. THE COUNTY ASSESSOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ESTABLISHING THE TAX RATE. The assessed value determines your proportion of the requested budgets; for this reason, we strongly encourage residents to attend local budget meetings.
How can we Help?
• Homestead exemption: Homestead exemptions provide relief from property taxes by exempting all or a portion of the valuation of the homestead from taxation. You may file for a homestead exemption if you are over age 65, certain disabled individuals, or certain disabled veterans and their widows or widowers, and are owner/occupant on record of property. You may file for an exemption between Feb 2nd and June 30th of each year.
• Owners of agricultural or horticultural land exceeding 5 acres may apply for special valuation between Jan 1st and June 30th to offset the impact of urban development or other non-agricultural influences. Special valuation provides for a taxable value based on 75% of the actual value of land for agricultural or horticultural purposes or uses only.
A few reminders:
• Personal Property Returns need to be into the Assessor’s office by May 1st to avoid Penalty.
• Homestead Applications are due by June 30th.
• If you feel there has been an error in your assessment, please visit with the Assessor. Remember, it is the property owner’s responsibility to report changes in usage or removal, remodeling, or additions of structures.
Washington County Assessor,