By Susan Stern — (Elk Creek Crossing, Omaha, Nebraska) — Have you looked at your preliminary 2017 home property valuation lately? Elk Creek Crossing valuations have gone up, up, and up in the past two years with some ECC residents reporting a $51,000 valuation hike or more, equating to a potentially considerable increase to your property tax bill.
2017 Property Valuations Slated to Rise Again
The Douglas County Assessor has re-valued homes in Elk Creek Crossing for 2017, the second increase in two years. For some residents the increase may be complete sticker shock.
Property Appraiser Scott Barnes stated to us by telephone today that “we revalued property based on market sales in the area.” Market value is determined by actual sales of homes in our neighborhood.
Nebraska Law Valuation Mandates
State law mandates properties be valued at market value between 92 – 100%, notes Barnes. Nebraska law also requires the county assessor to physically view the exterior of properties every seven years. Assessors were out and about on foot in Elk Creek Crossing in 2013, said Barnes.
In a Tuesday, January, 24, 2017 article published in the Omaha World Herald, Douglas County Assessor Diane Battiato “told the board (Douglas County Commission meeting) two factors are driving the increases. She said many properties had not been re-appraised by the Assessor’s Office for many years. And she said a hot real estate market has been driving up the market value of homes.”
Schedule Appointment Now
How to Protest 2017 Douglas County Property Valuations
If you’re floored at the preliminary valuation increase of your ECC home, you can schedule a one-on-one informal meeting with a county assessor. Call 402-444-6734 for an appointment. You have until February 10, 2017 to do so. Meetings will be held until Tuesday, February 28, 2017.
The Assessor’s Office website states “appointments will be scheduled on a first-call, first-serve basis. Be prepared to bring along evidence”:
- Comparable properties (See Residential Comparable Form.)
- Closing statement (for recently purchased property)
- If the property’s condition is a factor, please provide photos, repair estimates, etc. (Photos will not be returned.)
The Assessor/Register of Deeds’ office website says it will post the final 2017 values on its website by May 15, 2017. After that, you may also file a formal protest with the Douglas County Board of Equalization between June 1, 2017, and June 30, 2017.
Share your voice. Clare Duda is our Douglas County Commissioner representing District #7. Feel free to send him an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Property taxes are based on home valuation increases, and tax levies set by governing bodies like school districts, the city council and county board of commissioners.
Sources for ECC Homeowners
Meanwhile, as the OWH has reported, Douglas County has filed a lawsuit that remains pending in the Nebraska Supreme Court. In 2016, the Nebraska Tax Equalization and Review Commission ordered a 7 percent across-the-board valuation increase to about 75,000 homes primarily in west and central Omaha – that includes us in Elk Creek Crossing. The state also mandated an 8 percent decrease to about 20,000 north Omaha homes. The 2016 valuation hike and the preliminary 2017 valuation increases would be the second in two years.
There’s talk of tax levy decreases at the city and county. Read what Mayor Stothert and County Board members have to say, in a January 24, 2017 Omaha World Herald article entitled “Upset homeowners pack Douglas County Board meeting to complain about 2017 property valuation hikes.”