Public Notice: Brown County lowering values on ag land in 15 townships

Elisa Sand
Farm Forum

The Brown County Board of Equalization has started lowering the value of agriculture land in 15 southern townships, according to a public notice in Wednesday’s American News.

Adjustments were made in five townships April 10 and in four more townships Tuesday.

The Board of Equalization meets at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Brown County Courthouse Annex, 25 Market St., and will handle another batch of adjustments.

The values are being decreased because ofa state Department of Revenue ruling that the way Brown County has determined ag land values in the townships has been improper in recent years. There were two problems, according to the state. One was that the values were set, in part, to reflect that the property would sell for more than other ag land in the county. The other was that they were above the top per-acre total determined by the state in a model that values ag land on how productive it is.

Ag land in the 15 townships was assessed at 118 percent of the maximum per-acre value under the old plan that divided the county into three neighborhoods.

At the April 10 meeting, the assessed value for ag land in five townships was reduced to 87 percent of full productivity. That affected 956 parcels. In all, values were adjusted for 242 properties in Columbia Township, 170 in Henry Township, 190 in Putney Township, 172 in Garden Prairie Township and 182 in West Hanson Township.

One property previously valued at $455,702 is now valued at $396,460. Another previously valued at $327,902 is now at $285,275.

Gener Loeschke, Brown County’s interim director of equalization, said similar adjustments were made Tuesday to ag land in Cambria, Riverside, East Rondell and West Rondell townships. More will follow next week and on May 1, which is the last day the Board of Equalization meets.

The values in the townships are being adjusted at a series of meetings so affected landowners can attend, if they so choose. Those people are being notified with letters.

Loeschke said he doesn’t know how many parcels will have values changed, but he estimated roughly 200 in each township.

The property owners did not submit appeals, but Loeschke said the Board of Equalization can make a universal adjustment in one property classification within a township.

The adjustments are for 2018 values, which are used to calculate 2018 property taxes payable in 2019.

Because of the higher values, ag land owners in the 15 townships have paid disproportionately high property taxes in recent years.

Warner hearing set to discuss dairy variance

The town of Warner will have a public hearing May 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the Warner Community Center to discuss a variance request from Silverstreak Dairies, according to a public notice in Tuesday’s American News.

Silverstreak Dairies, also known as Warner Dairy, is at 14354 388th Ave., about a mile south and a mile east of Warner. The business is asking for a variance on the placement of a man camp building.