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Residential properties to see increased assessments

Residential property owners in Webster County will soon see a 10% increase in property valuation for tax purposes; agricultural land owners will see up to a 27% decrease.

An equalization notice from the state of Iowa has been ordered in Webster County after an audit found that the county’s average market values for residential properties, both inside and outside incorporated cities, were 10% higher than the assessed value of properties.

Now, a residential property previously valued at $100,000 by the county for tax assessment purposes will now be valued at $110,000. The order will effectively increase the county’s tax revenue from residential properties and decrease its revenue from agricultural properties.

The Webster County Assessor has received special permission to use an alternative method to apply the order to agricultural land and structures, excluding residential dwellings on agricultural realty, outside and within incorporated cities. Buildings in that category will receive a valuation decrease of 21.35%. Land in that category will receive a valuation decrease of 27.13%.

Commercial realty and multi-residential properties will see no adjustment.

Those wishing to appeal what their new assessment will be can petition the county assessor until Oct. 31 for the Special Equalization Session. Protest forms are available from the Webster County Assessor’s office at the courthouse, or on the county’s website at webstercountyia.org. Mailed paper petitions must be postmarked no later than Oct. 31.

Webster County Auditor Doreen Pliner said Webster County was audited as part of the state’s regular review of discrepancies between market values and assessed values.

“They determined that our valuations were less than sales at market rate,” she said.

The county attempted to protest the order, as it was already in the process of a total revaluation to be completed next year, but their request for more time was denied.

“Some people may have just gotten an increase (in valuation) because they just purchased (a property) or it had been revalued,” Pliner said. “Those people will have a good chance of appealing and getting this order reduced.”

Requests will be considered by the Board of Review in a special session after the submission period for petitions closes.

Other actions taken

Supervisors OK bridge replacement

plans, new sheriff’s truck

Webster County Supervisors on Tuesday approved the final plans for bridge replacements and the purchase of a new vehicle for the Webster County Sheriff’s Office.

Bridge replacement

Two bridges on County Highway D43, east of Callender, have been authorized to be let for bids by the Iowa Department of Transportation on Jan. 22. One is located in Clay Township, the other in Roland Township.

The two bridge projects will each be replacing a culvert.

Webster County Engineer Jamie Johll said both projects will be paid completely with state funds.

Traffic on the route during construction next year will be detoured.

New truck

Supervisors approved the purchase of a 2020 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD as a new vehicle for the Webster County Sheriff’s Office. The new vehicle will cost the county $35,200.

Despite a hiccup with delivery, Sheriff Jim Stubbs says they’ll still receive the outfitted vehicle sooner than usual.

General Motors workers, the United Auto Workers union, continue on one of the union’s longest strikes in decades.

Stubbs said the office’s budget would likely need to be amended before the end of the year to cover the purchase, but that $42,800 from insurance payments for two totaled vehicles will bring in revenue far exceeding the cost of the purchase.