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County Assessor to present resolution to property valuation hikes

Posted at 10:23 PM, Feb 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-13 23:23:40-05

After weeks of homeowners dealing with sticker shock over their soaring 2017 property values, the Douglas County Assessor might be ready to compromise.

Tuesday the Douglas County Board of Commissioners will hear a possible resolution from County Assessor, Diane Battiato.

Last week Battiato addressed four options to the valuations.

January 31st the commissioners asked to cap property cap property tax increases at 3%.

Battiato answered the board’s request to why that won’t work.

“With a 3% increase across the board, in every market area, in every neighborhood, they overall level of value in four of the market areas would be out of range and subject to adjustment,” she said.

Out of range means the county set valuations would not meet the 92-100% of market value and a 3% cap would put the counties total valuations around 91.3%.

Battiatio said any sort of cap would put the county at jeopardy of falling below the 92% cap and the state would step in and adjust it.

Battiatio addressed another option of submitting the 2016 valuations, and that will not work either because the total valuations would average at about 89%.

“What would happen, if we were to send that in, they (the state) would take a look at that and say not any of you are above 92%,” she said.

But two options could possibly work, by making a target valuation of 93.5% or 92%.

“Targeting every market area at 92%, we end up here with our overall ratios all at or above 92%.

Battiato also said 93.5% would do the same thing, but this still affects different valuation increases across town along with other potential problems.

“My concern for this is, these numbers mean that if our market continues to appreciate as it has, then all these ratios will be out of range next year,” she said.

It is unclear if Battiato will present one of these two solutions on Tuesday.

Homeowners can still call the assessor’s office to talk about their valuations until February 28th.