There soon will be hundreds of unhappy property owners in Douglas County. The State Tax and Equalization Commission’s office ruled that some areas in west and central Douglas County need valuations increased. Douglas County Assessor Diane Battiato says there were problems with the previous administration that is causing this issue now.
Battiato says, “This problem arose due to lack of accurate and consistent prior sales data that we use and the lack of consistency of that sales data really prevented us from getting a clear picture of market values.” She says any time a new administration comes into play, you are subject to discovering and working with the information left by the previous administration. This last year we unfolded different discrepancies of the practices and procedures, the validation process for sales and information put into the database. Battiato says as they uncover problems they are working to clean up the inconsistencies. She says it is impossible to value properties accurately if you don’t have a good history of sales data.
The state Tax and Equalization Commission determined that Douglas County residents in the western corridor, west of 72nd Street from Fort to Harrison will see taxes increase by 7%. Property owners in northeast Douglas County will see taxes drop by 8%.
Battiato believes they gave a very good job in providing the state with accurate information but when they looked at the market figures they did not agree. They plan to address the issue with the Douglas County Board who has the final say if they will file an appeal. Battiato says when she took office she knew there would be issues to address and hope to move forward and work through it the best they can.