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Property tax valuations stay unchanged in most towns in the county

By Staff | May 5, 2008

No one showed up to question their tax assessment valuations in Blue Earth Wednesday night.

The Blue Earth city council, acting as the Board of Appeals and Equalization, decided that it was because tax values on properties in the city were not raised, except in only a few cases.

County Assessor Sue Wiltse said that they used 49 home sales in Blue Earth to determine whether there was a need to raise the values.

She said the actual sale prices were within 93.19 percent of the value that the assessor had put on the properties, on average.

State law requires that the median average must be between 90 and 105 percent of the actual amounts that property is selling for.

“We fell within that acceptable range so we determined that no across the board increase was necessary,” Wiltse said.

Some properties were increased on an individual basis, due to improvements or re-evaluation. “We are required to inspect every home in the county every five years,” Ken Skaare, deputy county assessor told the council. He visits one fifth of the homes in each town in the county each year.

Wiltse said that they feel that home prices in the county have stabilized at this time.

Most of the towns in the county did not have across the board changes in valuations. The exceptions were in Kiester where the values on structures were decreased by 5 percent, and in Wells where there was a 5 percent increase in structure values.

Although there were no citizens present at the meeting in Blue Earth, there were quite a few at the meetings in both Winnebago and Wells.

Wiltse said they agreed to do a re-evaluation of five residences in Winnebago. Skaare pointed out that the re-evaluation could result in the valuation going up or down or remain the same. They will report back to the Winnebago City Council in June.