The Lancaster County Assessor’s office will mail about 18,000 letters Thursday and Friday officially notifying owners their property's assessed value has gone up or down.
Most of the notices are going to commercial and industrial property owners, because the assessor's office focused on those properties during the most recent reappraisal process, according to Rob Ogden, chief field deputy for the assessor’s office.
Few homeowners will receive notices this year because there was no mass reappraisal of residential property.
Total values for commercial and industrial property in the county increased 13.8 percent and much of that, 10.3 percent, was because of the reappraisal. The rest was the result of new construction.
Last year, when residential property was reassessed, the assessor’s office sent out about 85,000 valuation notices, affecting about 77 percent of the total properties in the county.
The property values for the 2018 tax year, which will be paid in 2019, have been posted on the assessor’s website since mid-January, so there shouldn’t be any surprises when people open their mail, said Scott Gaines, chief administrative deputy.
The assessor’s office did handle 376 informal protests this winter after the new values were posted, Ogden said.
Property owners can file a formal protest by July 2, and hearings will be scheduled at the Lancaster Event Center through the month of July.
Protesters should prepare to make their case armed with evidence such as independent appraisals and recent comparable sales.
Protest forms can be filled out in person at the County Clerk’s office, 555 S. 10th St., or online at the county clerk’s website. Go to lancaster.ne.gov (keyword: protest).
Final property value decisions, made in August by Lancaster County commissioners sitting as the County Board of Equalization, can be appealed to the state Tax Equalization and Review Commission.
The assessor's office routinely reappraises classes of property, because state regulations require residential and commercial properties be assessed within 92 percent to 100 percent of market value. Keeping all property values for tax purposes close to market value helps ensure all property owners are treated fairly.