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Nebraska Property Valuation Protest

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Soapweed

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Spearhead Ranch
Cherry County, Nebraska

Property Valuation Protest

Property Identification Number XXXXXXXXX

This particular piece of property went up 9.88% in valuation from 2009 to 2010. All of our ranch property increased in valuation an average of 6.62% from 2009 to 2010. Ranching is not a viable enough occupation to sustain this enormous increase in potential property taxes. For every $1000 of real estate taxes due in the year 2000, by 2009 the taxes were $1700. In the fall of 2000, steer calf sales from our ranch averaged 542 pounds @ $107.86 per cwt. In the fall of 2009, steer calf sales averaged 559 pounds @ $106.53 per cwt. Even though cattle prices remained virtually unchanged, taxes went up immensely. This was bad enough, but it does not take into consideration the horrendous increase in real estate valuation this past year, which will ultimately significantly increase our taxes once again.

Land prices have stabilized, or even gone down. Regardless, unless a rancher intends to sell out, rising land prices do no good for those of us who intend to stay in the business. They seem to only make our taxes go up, which soon will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for those trying to make a living in agriculture.

When agriculture fails, Main Street will fail. Those in a position of authority would do well to cut expenses and try to not raise taxes further. It will only cause a drastic downward spiral in the whole general economy.

Sincerely,

Soapweed
 

nortexsook

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>>simple solution rent the grass, don't own it.<<

In Texas, you'd sooner find a pot of gold than a grass lease.

Sounds good on paper until you get out in the real world and try it.
 

Buyer

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Same thing going on here Soap. But I don't think our land prices have gone down any. The farmers are going nuts again developing new ground and taking some out of CRP that should have been left aloan the first time. I went to the feed store today and they said corn was down to $3.00 per bu.
 

balestabber

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i question whether it is just in agriculture.when i was forced out of ag due to the death of a landlord that had 6 kids still in school,the death of my father and the first year of CRP,, i tried a retail store.

there was fed tax,state tax,county tax,city tax,and because i moved to a large tourist community,they were also going to charge a 15% tourism tax.

if the land and cattle are debt free and machinery cost kept at a minimal
expense, i think there is still some money to be made in ranching.

altho,i do agree taxes and interest are two large factors and i'm still learning.
 

tenbach79

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Around here taxes have stayed pretty much the same land prices have gone down some on pasture land but farm land mainly dry land has really gone up. Now we pay a hell of a tax on irrigated land because we are fighting this water battle with kansas and nebraska which they need money to help with that and pay for all the wells that they shut off 4 years ago.
 
A

Anonymous

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You can do like they are doing here- put it in a conservation easement (nasty words to me) and then get around all kinds of taxes- while lessening the value of the property...But it not only takes away your ability to operate the way you want to- but opens the doors to every Greeny-Weeny group that wants control of it....

The reason why years ago so many ranchers/farmers/longtime landowners questioned when NCBA crawled in bed with the Nature Conservancy :???: :( :( :mad:

The sad thing is that because of these love affairs of everyone crawling in bed with each other- while forgetting the cow/calf/landowner producer-we can't get the % profitability that was in ranching/farming for so many years-- and that has instead went to the Packer/multicorporate/retail sector instead while food prices stayed the same.... :(

But anymore its become the only way some can keep their heads above water- and prolong the inevitable change vertical integration (multinational corporatism) is bringing.... :(
 

Shortgrass

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In Colorado, the Cattlemen's Assn (Nate Patton in particular) spearheaded a tax policy that taxes production ag lands on production basis rather than land value basis. Otherwise places like Steamboat Springs would have no production agriculture. Get with some lawmakers and geterdone! That law is under the gun again, but has survived challenges in the past. Usually when legislature understands the situation we face, they lend an ear. You can pm me, and I will get you in touch with people who can offer guidance in drafting such policy.
 
A

Anonymous

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Shortgrass said:
In Colorado, the Cattlemen's Assn (Nate Patton in particular) spearheaded a tax policy that taxes production ag lands on production basis rather than land value basis. Otherwise places like Steamboat Springs would have no production agriculture. Get with some lawmakers and geterdone! That law is under the gun again, but has survived challenges in the past. Usually when legislature understands the situation we face, they lend an ear. You can pm me, and I will get you in touch with people who can offer guidance in drafting such policy.

Thats part of what the new Montana policy does-- but so much is based on appraisals of what western Montana acreage can produce-and western Montana values- that most of this part of the state has been paid under protest- and will probably end up in a law suit...
 

loomixguy

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Don't just leave it at a letter. Go in and talk to your assessor personally. Ask them to come out and inspect your property, and, if they do, be sure to include the good, the bad, and the ugly. Did you get the forms from the county clerk, or just write to them?

The assessor thought it would be a good idea to raise the taxes on my house last year. I went to the clerk and he did everything he could to get me not to protest, but that didn't happen. I filled out the form and went in and talked to the assessor, very smoothly. I told them they had had my house overvalued for years, but it was only overvalued around 10K, so I never complained. I was asked what I thought I could sell my house for, and I told them. It was just half what they wanted the new valuation to be. I said to just come and look....and be sure to go in the basement. They came a week or so later while I was gone...the kids let them in and told them to look in the basement, too. A couple of weeks later I got a letter from them stating that they were going to value my house at $XXX,000. (The price I told them I could probably sell my house for! :wink: )

I realize that houses and rangeland are not the same thing, but the assessor may be charging for things that are not there. I was paying for a big storage shed and other "improvements" that were either never there or torn down long ago. The system works, but you must do it correctly and be timely. You have a good start, it appears. I wish you the best!
 

jeff in ca

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The Governator out here in California has not funded the Williamson Act, for two years. The Williamson Act was initiated to relieve the tax burden on ranches and curb development on ranch lands. We also had Prop 13 back in the 70's that limited the amount that taxes can be raised to 1% of the value. Because the Williamson Act is no longer funded. The Government in their infamous wisdom. Has just now figured out, with the properties are going back to the regular tax rates. If the property has not been sold; The rates are at pre-prop 13. Well as most of us know; ranches don't change hands that often. The taxes now are based on values from the 1970's. So in many cases that taxes will and have gone down.

Mr Soapweed you are just a victim of the urbanites in Lincoln. You know you are rich land baron. That rapes, and pillages the land. For your own good and to hell with the peasants. The biggest urban legend: Ranchers are rich.

The struggle we have in our daily lives just to survive in this business, is struck down by the wealth we have in our souls given to us by the lord with the beauty he surrounds us with in our offices.
 

Nebraska Sandhills

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Soapweed...we sure understand where you are coming from....one 6,000 acre block of Sandhills pasture (no meadows) went up just over 24% in valuation from 2009-2010, just as much the year before to make its valuation increase over 50% in two years. Here at the north ranch which has meadows and pasture land I think we averaged 23.4% increase in valuation across the board. Have filled out the protest forms, but not holding our breath. There just isn't enough cash flow to go around anymore as you stated. They can increase taxes all they want and add value to the ground on paper, but it still has the same earning capacity it had years ago and still runs the same amount of cows. A lot of people we visit with that live and work in town are familiar with income tax and can't grasp that real estate taxes are completely different. You pay income taxes because you have made money. You pay real estate taxes regardless of whether or not you make any money.
 

Soapweed

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Nebraska Sandhills said:
Soapweed...we sure understand where you are coming from....one 6,000 acre block of Sandhills pasture (no meadows) went up just over 24% in valuation from 2009-2010, just as much the year before to make its valuation increase over 50% in two years. Here at the north ranch which has meadows and pasture land I think we averaged 23.4% increase in valuation across the board. Have filled out the protest forms, but not holding our breath. There just isn't enough cash flow to go around anymore as you stated. They can increase taxes all they want and add value to the ground on paper, but it still has the same earning capacity it had years ago and still runs the same amount of cows. A lot of people we visit with that live and work in town are familiar with income tax and can't grasp that real estate taxes are completely different. You pay income taxes because you have made money. You pay real estate taxes regardless of whether or not you make any money.

Land is necessary and is used for our livelihood. It could also be considered an investment. We must pay taxes on the land because we own it.

Stocks and bonds are an investment also. How about taxing the value of stocks and bonds, or any other investments, even if they are being "held" and not being bought or sold on any given year. Fair should be fair, and this would be comparing apples to apples, and thus taxing the value of apples to apples.
 

JF Ranch

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Soapweed said:
Nebraska Sandhills said:
Soapweed...we sure understand where you are coming from....one 6,000 acre block of Sandhills pasture (no meadows) went up just over 24% in valuation from 2009-2010, just as much the year before to make its valuation increase over 50% in two years. Here at the north ranch which has meadows and pasture land I think we averaged 23.4% increase in valuation across the board. Have filled out the protest forms, but not holding our breath. There just isn't enough cash flow to go around anymore as you stated. They can increase taxes all they want and add value to the ground on paper, but it still has the same earning capacity it had years ago and still runs the same amount of cows. A lot of people we visit with that live and work in town are familiar with income tax and can't grasp that real estate taxes are completely different. You pay income taxes because you have made money. You pay real estate taxes regardless of whether or not you make any money.

Land is necessary and is used for our livelihood. It could also be considered an investment. We must pay taxes on the land because we own it.

Stocks and bonds are an investment also. How about taxing the value of stocks and bonds, or any other investments, even if they are being "held" and not being bought or sold on any given year. Fair should be fair, and this would be comparing apples to apples, and thus taxing the value of apples to apples.

I see your point but how 'bout if we not?

Fair should be fair, so I'd prefer that we not add taxes on something else to balance it out. To be fair & balanced, I'd get rid of the real estate tax.
 

EJ

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On an average my assessed valuation went up over 30%. This is on hilly and rocky land that is designed for grazeing only. They didn`t consider land use, only soil type. There will be a land evaluation meeting in Pierre later this summer
 

Soapweed

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JF Ranch said:
Soapweed said:
Nebraska Sandhills said:
Soapweed...we sure understand where you are coming from....one 6,000 acre block of Sandhills pasture (no meadows) went up just over 24% in valuation from 2009-2010, just as much the year before to make its valuation increase over 50% in two years. Here at the north ranch which has meadows and pasture land I think we averaged 23.4% increase in valuation across the board. Have filled out the protest forms, but not holding our breath. There just isn't enough cash flow to go around anymore as you stated. They can increase taxes all they want and add value to the ground on paper, but it still has the same earning capacity it had years ago and still runs the same amount of cows. A lot of people we visit with that live and work in town are familiar with income tax and can't grasp that real estate taxes are completely different. You pay income taxes because you have made money. You pay real estate taxes regardless of whether or not you make any money.

Land is necessary and is used for our livelihood. It could also be considered an investment. We must pay taxes on the land because we own it.

Stocks and bonds are an investment also. How about taxing the value of stocks and bonds, or any other investments, even if they are being "held" and not being bought or sold on any given year. Fair should be fair, and this would be comparing apples to apples, and thus taxing the value of apples to apples.

I see your point but how 'bout if we not?

Fair should be fair, so I'd prefer that we not add taxes on something else to balance it out. To be fair & balanced, I'd get rid of the real estate tax.

That would be fine, but we both know that won't happen. :wink: I just don't see why the property owners have to shoulder all the tax burden.
 

mrj

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As I understand it, the 'new' law in SD was SUPPOSED to mitigate sales price which had been the major factor in determining 'value' of the land, and include a formula of soil types, a formula for sales prices, and ACTUAL production of the land.

It appears that new method has been perverted to focus too much on what the land COULD produce if it were farmed for the highest value crop possible given the soil types.

A more accurate system would surely include actual crops raised, whether grass, wheat, corn, various types of hay; terrain, average annual precipitation, soil types, and average and extremes of temperature ranges, drought commonality, stewardship of the land, and whatever else would give an accurate picture of the real return of the land use to provide more honest tax burdens.

THEN, the ability to demand more services for those who share in little or no burden for the taxes needed to provide those services would somehow have to be equalized so that those who pay the taxes, whether or not they have adequate income to do so, would have a stronger voice in determining just what services truly are NECESSARY.

A study many years ago, I believe by a professor at SDSU in SD, which apparently was ignored, demonstrates our dilemma. It revealed 'farmers' having roughly 20% of the personal income and 80% of the state tax burden. Some justify this by claiming that the non-farmers pay far more of the Federal Income Tax. Totally bogus argument, IMO, as ALL who show the income pay the Income Tax, while farmers, and other small businesses have the additional burden of the Death Tax, soon to return with a vengeance!!!

We certainly must be addicted to ranching and farming to continue it against the odds against us!!!!
 

katrina

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We went in and talked to the assesor and she told us that the housing in Valentine hadn't gone down any... That we had made a good investment and the reason taxes where so high was because of Ted Turner... I totally understand where you're coming from Soap... I bought liscense for my 1982 camero when I moved to Valentine, It cost me 250.00 and then when I got married and moved to South Dakota it cost me 67.00 to liscense the same vehicle a year later.....
 

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