BEATRICE - New property valuations in Nebraska will be hitting mailboxes soon, and it’s likely to be an eye-opener for some residential property owners.
In Gage County, the new valuations will be going out right after the Memorial Day Holiday, and Gage County Board Chairman Erich Tiemann says the biggest changes are being seen this year on the residential side.

"The valuations, they simply follow the actual prices of sales over a three-year period....and houses have been going up. Acreages are going to be hit the hardest as far as valuation increases. After acreages, it looks like that formerly $170,000 house... range of $150,000 to $200,000 home is elevated, as well as lower valued homes."

Tiemann says on agriculture land values, new figures are expected to show more stability, after some years where ag land owners saw the biggest increases. In recent weeks, some agriculture property sales have been reported at higher prices…which could lead to an upward movement in those values in the coming years.

Tiemann says there are other factors that work into the level of residential values over the longer term.  "A lot of the housing market fluctuates around interest rates, and as the Federal Reserve is looking at the increases in the borrowing rate for banks, that will eventually slow that purchase power that people have on homes. Those home prices will come down again over time. Just like with the farm prices, it seems like they come up fast and go down very slowly."

Tiemann says its difficult to say how many valuation protests will be filed this year on the new set of valuations…but it could be higher than in recent years because of the residential numbers increasing.

County Assessors and boards of equalization are governed by state law and median valuations for all classes of property have to land within specified ranges….or counties can be forced to make adjustments.