BEATRICE – Gage County has fewer than 200 property valuation protests this year.
While 168 may sound pretty large, County Assessor Patti Milligan notes it’s a far cry from the one-thousand in a single year, she can remember since she’s worked for the county.


Protest hearings are underway, along with informal meetings between assessor’s office staff and property owners, to explain the basis behind a valuation.


Residential and commercial valuations are trending up, but agriculture property is trending downward after a few years of sizable increases. Residential valuations are based on two years of sales records. With commercial and ag real estate, it’s a three-year sales period.


Milligan says her office deals with the setting of valuation, not how much a property owner will pay in taxes. Still, many property owners question how much they're paying in property taxes.


The property tax concern is understandable, following a legislative session where no comprehensive tax relief plan was enacted. Add to that in Gage County, the financial impact of the Beatrice Six civil judgment, which prompted the county to increase the overall property tax rate, to the cap of 50-cents.
Gage County’s property valuations fall within state-mandated target ranges….92-to-100 percent of full market value for residential and commercial…..69-to-75 percent on agriculture land.


By and large, Milligan says most people are satisfied with the explanation on their valuation. Now, on the amount of taxes being paid…..that’s another matter.