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Spring Valley residents contest property values

Mon, Apr 16th, 2012
Posted in Spring Valley All

Every year the Spring Valley City Council invites Brian Hoff of the Fillmore County Assessor’s Office in to talk about property valuations and occasionally there are citizens in attendance to plead their case in lowering their taxes because they believe the property assessments are too high.

Valuation on Finley Property on Valley Ave Goes to the County

Louie Finley owns a vacant lot at 515 Valley Avenue in Spring Valley. The lot is 88’x103’ and Finley maintains that it isn’t a buildable lot. The property valuation is $15,900 which is within the accepted standards of $1.75 per square foot according to Hoff. He brought to the council various pictures of the property and has had Hoff inspect the property. Administrator Deb Zimmer said the lot is buildable with some restrictions and would hesitate in lowering the assessment because there are other comparable properties in the neighborhood. The City Council will be requesting the County to look at the other lots and see if their valuation is in line with the property owned by Finley.

Red Essig Successful in Getting Property Valuation Lowered

Red Essig was a bit more successful. He was appealing the valuation of the old Home Federal Building. He sent his appeal through Brian Hoff who said that this last year the valuation went up $10,000 because of new regulations regarding Heating and Air Conditioning which was automatically tacked on to the property valuation. The City Council decided to reduce the valuation of $10,000 to $5,000. Hoff said that he doesn’t know if that will be acceptable to Essig or not.

The Fillmore County Valuation Summary for the 2012 Assessment found that in Spring Valley the total value is $113,969,944. There was $454,300 in new construction, Ag land of $4,859.144, Residential of $89,607,100. Seasonal Rec was listed at $2,776,700 and commercial at $16,736,000.

The City Council has received a request from LYP, Lumberyard Partnership to consider lowering the assessments on several lots in the North Park Townhome Subdivision. LYP sold the old FCLM lumberyard property to the City for $1.00 in exchange for the property owned by the city on North Park Drive. There was a development agreement with the city was to develop 24 townhome lots and to complete the building of the 24 homes by 2006 to avoid paying assessments.

According to the request sent out from LYP, they built six units in 2003 but the others remain undone. When the dates were not met the City imposed a $1,200 assessment on each unit. As a result, there were 18 lots with a $1,200 penalty each which brings the total to $21,600 per year. LYP wanted to know if the penalty gets paid each year, would that reduce the $9,507 assessment they owe on each lot by the same amount? In 2006 LYP requested the assessments be forgiven and it was denied at that time. Now they want all assessments be forgiven. Mayor Struzyk and the Council appeared to be with the same conclusion: “that the request be denied.”

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