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Nebraska homeowners weigh pros and cons of rising home values, increased property taxes

Posted at 7:09 PM, May 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-31 20:09:41-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Nebraska homeowners are receiving notices of property valuation adjustments and they'll have the opportunity to protest valuations beginning Thursday.

Market rate increases in Douglas County are leading to several homeowners seeing their valuation increase.

State law establishes that residential properties in Nebraska must be valued at 92% to 100% of the actual, current market value, said Zach Bass, who is the residential appraisal supervisor for the Douglas County Assessor's Office.

"After moving forward to this year, the median level of value in residential properties in Douglas County was around 82% (of the market value)," Bass said.

He said that needed to be increased to be in compliance with the state law.

The average sale price of a residential home in Douglas County was $45,000 higher between October 2021 to September 2022 than it was a year earlier, Bass said.

In other words, if your neighborhood is part of that increase then you would likely see a valuation increase, Bass said, even without improvements to the home. Likewise, if that market rate were to decrease, so would valuations.

One Omahan frustrated by an increase this year is Mike Smith. His Millard home has seen a valuation increase of nearly $100,000 from $147,500 to $246,900 since he purchased it just five years ago. He just learned about another $25,000 recently.

"People say ... it's nice. It helps when you resell," Smith said. "I don't plan on selling my house. I'm planning on living here. You know, I didn't buy a house to sell it."

He plans to protest again this year, though it's never worked for him before.

"We downsized (homes) so we could maybe tuck a dollar away and live within our means," Smith said. "They've already shot that down."

With the notice of valuation adjustments, for some homeowners, comes the protest period. Across Nebraska, county Boards of Equalization will begin accepting protest forms on June 1.

It includes an opportunity to submit information to support your case and interview. In Douglas County, the deadline is the end of June. Should that fail, there's a statewide appeal process, too.

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