Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the meeting of City Tax Equalization Mtg.

Minutes of the Annual City Equalization Board held on April 8, 2014 at 8:00 AM.

  Present:  Lyn James, Mike Sondeland, Grace Rea, Bob Wiffler, Chuck Whitney, Peggy Matheson, Dean Pearson, and Jodi Freier.   Audience:  Barb Downing and Judson Seaman.

The meeting was called to order at 8:00 AM by President James .   Motion by Sondeland, second by Rea to approve the agenda.  RCV= all aye, MC. 

Tax Director Dean Pearson explained the equalization procedure to the attendees and what the Equalization Board may do with a contested valuation which is an increase or decrease in the valuation.   Pearson went through the rules and regulations for how he determines values.  The value placed on a property as of February 1st is what it would be at a market value between the buyer and the seller.  Last year we were at 90% of market value.
If residents are unhappy with their property taxes, they need to come forward at this meeting to voice their concerns.
Pearson stated that increasing property values is not necessarily a bad thing, values and mills are a balancing thing.  When values go up, mills go down.  If you have a 1/3 increase in value, mills go down by a 1/3.

Median is the mid-point ratio when individual ratios are arrayed in order of magnitude.  This is the preferred measure of central tendency.   The North Dakota State Board of Equalization requires the use of the median ratio when equalizing residential and commercial property assessments.

Commercial Properties:  Commercial classification means that the property does not fit in any other categories, it doesn't have to have a commercial business on it to be commercial.  There was no increase in commercial this year, there were only 4 sales vs. 14 the prior year. 

 Agricultural Land:  This year there was quite an increase in agricultural land.  There was a 42.7% increase in valuation as recommended from NDSU to achieve 100% production value.  The state requires us to be between 90 - 100% of that figure which requires Bowman County have a 33% increase in agriculture land properties based on soils.  There are 156 different classifications of soils in Bowman County.
Residential:  There were 27 sales in Bowman City and 32 in Bowman County.
Dean Pearson encourages the commission to leave the median value at 99.83 % of market value.

Those attending the meeting were invited to present their concern; no one came forward.

Regardless of the City's recommendation, all property owners can take their concerns to the County Board of Equalization in June, if still not satisfied; the requests can be taken to the State Board of Equalization in August. 
Whitney and Rea feel that tax payers do not understand that this meeting is the starting point if you are in disagreement with your taxes.  Pearson stated that the tax payer needs to bring evidence to this meeting to prove difference in valuation of their property.

Motion by Whitney, second by Wiffler to stand in recess for up to 10 days and use all communication tools to inform people  that if they have any reservations about their valuations to come to this meeting.  RCV= all aye, MC.

Motion by Whitney, second by Sondeland to set the time of the conclusion of the tax meeting on 4/17/14 at 5:00 pm.  RCV= all aye, MC.

 Motion by Sondeland, second by Rea to recess this meeting until 4/17/14 at 5:00 PM.  RCV = all aye, MC.  This meeting was recessed at 9:10 AM.

Minutes of the Reconvened Property Tax Equalization City Commission Meeting held on April 17, 2014 at City Hall at 5:00 PM.

Present:  Lyn James, Mike Sondeland, Grace Rea, Chuck Whitney, and Bob Wiffler.  Peggy Matheson, Chuck Headley, Dean Pearson, and Jodi Freier.   Audience:  Barb Downing and Kevin Bucholz

 President James called the meeting to back to order at 5:00 PM and stated we are reconvening the tax equalization meeting from 4/8/14. 

James asked if either of the attendees would like to speak about their taxes and they said no.

Pearson stated that we have to be at market value per state requirements.  We are right where we are supposed to be since we are at 99.83%.

Motion by Rea, second by Sondeland to accept Mr. Pearson's recommendation to increase our residential values by 3.77% as shown on the assessor rolls.  RCV = all aye, MC .

Bowman County Equalization meeting will be on June 3, 2014 at the Bowman County Courthouse  at 1:45 pm.

Motion by Wiffler, second by Whitney to accept the assessment roll as presented by Dean Pearson.   RCV = all aye, MC.

Motion by Sondeland, second by Rea to adjourn the meeting at 5:08 pm.  RCV = all aye, MC.