The true and full value of real estate in Jamestown is just under $1 billion, the highest ever reported for the city, according to Jamison Veil, city assessor. The figures are based on values assigned to property by the Jamestown Assessor's Office and are used for property tax calculations for the upcoming 2019 tax year.

Veil told the Jamestown City Council, meeting as the Board of Equalization Tuesday, that the value increase amounted to a 4.8% increase in taxable value from $954.8 million for the 2018 tax year. Of the increase, 0.75% was attributed to new construction while 4% was attributed to reassessment and value changes.

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Valuation is just half the formula for calculating property taxes, Veil said. The other half is the budgets set by local governments. If the budget for 2020 is the same as 2019, mill rates could go down slightly with total property taxes remaining about the same.

The increases in valuation over the years are attributable to higher sale prices for real estate. The average sales price of a home in Jamestown did not exceed $100,000 until 2011, according to the report prepared by Veil that was submitted to the Board of Equalization Tuesday.

"We all want our property to be worth more," said Pam Phillips, City Council member.

The valuations set by the Jamestown Assessor's Office are within standards set by the state of North Dakota. No across-the-board adjustments were necessary, Veil said.

Residential property values used for taxes were 93.7% of the sale prices for property sold in 2018 in Jamestown and 91.3% for commercial property, according to sales ratio reports provided by Veil.

The sales ratios fall within the 90% tolerance set by the North Dakota Office of the State Tax Commissioner.

The average sale price for residential property in 2018 was $167,309. The average sale price of a one-story single family home was $149,142. The homes on average were built in 1959.

The Board of Equalization approved two adjustments based on clerical errors in valuations discovered after the report was prepared. The board denied a written request to lower the value of a property because documentation submitted by the owner's attorney was not correct.

No one appeared to protest the valuation assigned to their (HIS OR HER>>>) property at the Jamestown Board of Equalization meeting. In order to appeal a valuation to the Stutsman County or North Dakota boards of equalization, a Jamestown resident must first appeal at the city level.

Real property is assessed by officials as it exists on Feb. 1 each year, Veil said. Values of properties under construction are set based on the amount of construction complete at that time. The Jamestown Assessor's Office inspected 77 residential properties and 47 commercial properties based on building permits issued in the 12 months prior to the assessment date. Value of new construction and properties for which tax exemptions had expired was placed at $2.4 million for residential property and $5.1 million for commercial property.