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Truth in Taxation notices show unpredictable changes for residents

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MORRIS - Big changes to the property tax system earlier this year left local officials certain taxes were going to go up, but unsure about by how much and who would pay the most.

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Now that the more than 7,000 Truth in Taxation notices have been mailed out in Stevens County, residents have a better idea of what their tax burden for next year will be.

A sampling of notices in Stevens County provided by Stevens County Auditor/Treasurer Neil Wiese and Stevens County Property Tax Specialist Deanna Heuer show double-digit tax increases for many commercial, agricultural and high-value residential properties, with smaller increases for lower-valued homestead properties.

The examples provided are all for properties that did not have a significant change in value from 2011 to 2012. If a property drastically increased or decreased in value, property taxes will also reflect that change.

A sampling of properties shows:

• An apartment building in the City of Morris has a projected tax increase of 11.8 percent, from taxes of $15,065 in 2011 to $16,853 in 2012.

• A commercial property in the City of Morris will see a tax increase of 11.3 percent, from $9,625 in 2011 to $10,715 in 2012.

• Another commercial property in the City of Morris will see a tax increase of 10.9 percent, from $45,795 in 2011 to $50,825 in 2012.

• A residential property in Darnen Township has a tax increase of 8.7 percent, from $1,438 in 2011 to $1,564 in 2012. In that particular township, Heuer explained, much of the tax increase is being picked up by agricultural land rather than residential property.

• One residence in the City of Morris will see a tax decrease of 1.9 percent this year, going from $522 in 2011 to $512 in 2012. Heuer said that some property values in Morris have been lowered, which will impact 2012 taxes.

• A residence in the City of Morris with an estimated market value of $109,600 and a taxable market value of $82,200 will see an increase of 4 percent, from $1,494 in 2011 to $1,554 in 2012.

• A residence in the City of Morris with an estimated market value of $393,700 and a taxable market value of $391,900 will see an increase of 11.7 percent, from $6,334 in 2011 to $7,078 in 2012

• A residential property in the City of Morris with an estimated market value of $500,100 and a taxable market value of $500,100 will see an increase of 18.2 percent, from $7,348 in 2011 to $8,688 in 2012.

• A rental property in the City of Morris valued at $37,000 had an increase of 10.9 percent, from $604 in 2011 to $668 in 2012.

These properties are just examples, and both Wiese and Heuer emphasized how difficult it is to compare the taxes on different properties because of how taxes are levied and distributed in different communities.

The tax notifications on the TNT statements are based on preliminary budgets passed by local municipalities in September.

Stevens County residents with questions about their tax bill can contact the Stevens County Auditor/Treasurer's office at (320) 208-6570.

Local municipalities also have scheduled "Truth in Taxation" public hearings in December before final budgets are set. These meetings are as follows:

• Stevens County: Monday, Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. at the Stevens County Courthouse

• City of Morris: Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 6 p.m. at the Morris Senior Center

• Morris Area School District: Monday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Morris Senior Center

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kukur

Kim Ukura is the editor of the Morris Sun Tribune. 

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