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Property values: Residential property values expected to rise

Residential property values are expected to increase 9 percent in Jamestown, according to Darrel Wollan, city assessor. The City Council will review and act on the proposal during the Jamestown Board of Equalization meeting at 4 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.

Wollan said the increase is based on the sales ratio which looks at the actual sales price of properties sold in 2013 and compares it to the value of the properties used for tax calculations.

“Our sales ratio (for residential property) was 83 percent,” he said. “Even with the 9 percent increase we’re barely within the state-set tolerances.”

North Dakota law requires the sales ratio for each class of property to be between 90 and 100 percent. Wollan said if the change were not made by the Jamestown Board of Equalization it would be made by the North Dakota Board of Equalization.

The sales ratio of 83 percent was based on 209 residential property sales in 2013. The sales must be considered “arms-length transactions,” meaning sales between relatives are not counted.

The sales ratio information also shows a steady increase in the sales prices of homes in Jamestown. In 2003, the average home in Jamestown sold for $77,709 compared to the average sale price of $127,228 in 2013.

There is no plan to adjust commercial property in Jamestown, Wollan said. There were six sales of commercial property in 2013. Those sales were combined with sales from 2010, 2011 and 2012 to reach the minimum of 30 required for the sales ratio comparison.

“We looked at several properties individually but aren’t making any across-the-board change,” he said.

Wollan’s report on property values said 58 residential building permits resulted in $1.3 million in new construction value in 2013 while 16 commercial building permits resulted in an additional $3.7 million in value.

The total value for all real property in Jamestown increased to $703.6 million and is 7.8 percent more than last year. Of that 7.8 percent increase, 0.73 percent is due to new construction and 7.1 percent is due to increase in values to existing property.

A rise in valuation does not necessarily mean an increase in property taxes. Mill rates are determined by dividing the budget by the taxable value of property in the district. If budgets do not increase, the higher valuation would result in a lower mill rate. The mill rate is then multiplied by the taxable value to determine the ultimate property tax.

Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at knorman@jamestownsun.com

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