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The 2019 Tax Equalization meeting was called to order by Mayor Dan Imdieke on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. Upon roll call, the following council members were present: Randy Meidinger, Dennis Morris, Linda Schumacher-Kelsch. Absent: Council Members Jon Ptacek and Shelly Hauge. Also present: Emmons County Director of Tax Equalization Sarah Ohlhauser and City Administrator Sharon Jangula.
Visitor: Clarence Herz

Tax Director Sarah Ohlhauser presented a list of sixty-eight applicants for the Homestead Tax Credit and five applicants for the Veterans Tax Credit. After discussion, a motion to approve the Homestead and Veterans Tax Credits as presented was made by Linda Schumacher-Kelsch, second by Dennis Morris. Unanimous aye vote; motion carried.

Tax Director Ohlhauser explained that she has divided the City into three zones for assessing purposes. Zone One will include property east of 6th St. NE. Zone Two will include property along Highway 83 and east to Zone One. Zone Three will include the remainder of the property which is located on the west side of town. Property in Zone Three will be valued less than the other two zones mainly due to location in the flood zone. Property in Zone One will be valued slightly higher than property in Zone Two.

The council reviewed the 2018 sales. Tax Director Ohlhauser presented the proposed valuations for 2019. The proposed valuations using adjustments for zone location and sales comparisons showed a median sales ratio of 99.76%. Based on previous valuations the ratio was 115.76%. The state requires the median to be at 90% to 100%.

Clarence Herz addressed the council and asked that the property he purchased in the floodway be reduced in value. He felt that because of restrictions put on property in the floodway, the value should be less than property outside the floodway. After discussion, Mr. Herz left the meeting.

Value of property in the floodway was further discussed. There was general consensus to leave the values in the floodway as presented. It was discussed to consider options for reducing the value of property in the floodway for next year. The Tax Director and the City will work on those options in the coming year.

The proposed valuations for 2019 also included adjustments for new construction, remodel and other factors. After discussion, a motion to approve the valuations as presented was made by Linda Schumacher-Kelsch, second by Randy Meidinger. Unanimous aye vote; motion carried.

Tax Director Ohlhauser outlined her plans to keep properties up-to-date. She said she has divided the county into 5 areas and plans to do an on-site assessment of properties in each area every 4 to 6 years.

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