We usually bring you the bad news. Today, it's good news we share -- at least for homeowners. And we want to give credit where credit is due.
Dorchester property owners should have by now received notice that within the village, property assessments have seen a 6% decrease in improvements and buildings. That means that a homeowner that previously had a house with an assessed value of $125,000 will now see their assessed value drop to around $117,500 for tax year 2014.
That will mean some sizeable savings when the property tax bill arrives.
Why the drop in assessed values in Dorchester? We can think of one main reason: the original Keystone oil pipeline that runs through our school district. You can thank TransCanada for your drop in property taxes.
Meanwhile, the news isn't as good for farmers and farm land owners. Saline County farm land owners saw very large increases in land valuations, since ag property was revised using prices from ag land sales from October 2010 through September 2013.
Also, in nearby Western, that village increased valuations on improvements and buildings by a whopping 8%.
Remember that in Nebraska, the property tax is levied only by local governments -- mostly school districts, counties, cities, and NRDs. The tax on real estate is levied based on the actual or market value of the real estate. Most is assessed at 100% of actual value, but ag land has been assessed at only 75% of actual value since 2007.
Recall our story from last summer that showed Crete and Friend school districts have significantly higher property tax levies than Dorchester.