The value of Jamestown property used to calculate property taxes is increasing by about 2.4%, according to Jamison Veil, Jamestown city assessor. The increase boosts the true and full value of all property in Jamestown above the $1 billion mark for the first time.

The valuations were approved by the Jamestown City Council acting as the Jamestown Board of Equalization at a meeting Tuesday.

The taxable value, calculated as 4.5% of the true and full value of residential property and 5% of the true and full value of all other property, increased from $46.2 million for the 2019 tax year to $47.4 million for the upcoming tax calculations.

The increase in valuation means each mill of property tax will generate about $1,200 more in government revenue. The number of mills the city and other governments will levy will be calculated after the budget process is complete late this summer.

Veil said 1% of the 2.4% increase is due to new construction in Jamestown while 1.4% is due to adjustments to the value of existing property.

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The Board of Equalization also has the authority to review individual property valuations if those valuations are appealed by the owner. There were four appeals filed by property owners in advance of the meeting. No one brought forth any appeal at the meeting through the open phone lines that were made available during the virtual meeting.

The largest appeal was brought by Menards which challenged the assessed value of $12.3 million set by the Jamestown assessors office. Menards requested the value be lowered to $11.3 million citing comparable sales of other big box stores in the region.

Veil said his research showed at least one of the sales they were quoting had been by a distressed seller and should not be considered valid. The Board of Equalization approved the valuation of $12.3 million although Veil said that could also be adjusted during the Stutsman County Board of Equalization later this summer.

Menards is part of a tax increment financing district and It pays property tax based on the value set by the appraiser but the bulk of the proceeds is used to make bond payments for the streets, water and sewer infrastructure that was built to facilitate the store.

Veil reviewed the sales ratio information with the Board of Equalization. The city is required to compare the sales price of any property that is sold to the value placed on that property for taxation. By North Dakota law, that ratio must be between 90% and 100% of the sales price or adjustments are required.

"We are in compliance," Veil said. "The residential property is at a ratio of 94.5% and the commercial property is at 92.5%"

The average selling price for residential real estate in Jamestown increased only slightly rising from about $183,000 in 2018 to $184,000 in 2019.