BEATRICE – During a year when valuations for residential and commercial property have risen dramatically, Gage County officials expect a rush of protests to come in before this Friday’s filing deadline.

As of Wednesday, County Clerk Dawn Hill says at least 170 protests had been filed.

County Assessor Patti Milligan told the county’s board of equalization that number could rise. "We had forty in probably the first three weeks...maybe the first two-and-a-half weeks. We now have up to 168. So, this is what the problem is...there's no time frame between now and July 25th. There is, but that's going super, super fast. That's something we need to address with the state, because of the time frame to file those. We can take them postmarked June 30th...they may not be here until July 5th. We're supposed to hear them informally and then bring them to you by probably July 21st or 24th...will be the last meeting."

Although state lawmakers have taken several steps to provide property tax relief, including credits off income taxes…Milligan says one critical step remains undone.

"To reform the way we value properties. That hasn't happened for years and years and years. I'm interpreting the market...and held responsible for having to be 92 to 100-percent on that."

The Gage County Board of Equalization will meet at least twice to formally hear protests, during July. Informal meetings between hired appraisers and property owners filing protests, will begin shortly after the July 4th holiday.