The time is here for property owners to protest if they believe county appraisers have set too high of a value on their real estate.
The protest period ends June 30.
Official notices were mailed to Lincoln County property owners on Thursday, June 1, containing the latest valuations from the county assessor’s office.
If you believe your taxable valuation is not the current market value of your property, you can check the records at the Lincoln County Assessor’s office, gather information, and informally discuss the situation.
Then, if you decide to file a protest, here are some tips from County Assessor Julie Stenger to make the process smoother.
• Please bring all evidence with you – photos, appraisals and any other documentation you might have – when you first come in. The burden of proof is on the taxpayer.
• File the evidence and your protest form at the Lincoln County Clerk’s office. By state law, the protest form must be filed with the county clerk, not the county assessor.
• Protest forms 442 are available at the Lincoln County Assessor’s office, or from the Lincoln County’s website: www.co.lincoln.ne.us.
• The county assessor can go over the information on record with you, but is unable to accept protests. They have to be filed with the county clerk.
• The clerk’s office is near the west end of the courthouse. Business hours are 9-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
• Bring evidence with you the first time, so you don’t have to make two trips and appointments.
• File a protest form 422 for each parcel. Give a legal description of the parcel and state the reason for the requested change in valuation. Failure to do so will result in dismissal of the protest.
Upon request, the formal protest will be reviewed by referee Marcia Trego, who is hired to help the county handle the appeals.
Protests are then decided by the three Lincoln County commissioners, who meet in July as the county board of tax equalization. You can personally appear before the board of equalization.
During each of the last four years, between 500-970 Lincoln County property owners have protested their valuations.
Last year there were 597 protests filed. Most of them – 439 or 73% — resulted in a lower valuation, according to county records.
Officials recommend that you:
Gather information about your property at the county assessor’s office, such as:
• Dimensions, square footage, age & condition of structures.
• Property records and the assessed value of properties in the area that are comparable to your property.
• Sales information on comparable properties in the area.
• Appraisal from the year or years prior to Jan. 1, 2018.
You can have an informal discussion with the county assessor, which may help to resolve an issue or concern. Please do so sooner earlier in the month of June, rather than later.
The assessor’s records of your property are also available online at the Lincoln County website — www.county.lincon.ne.us.
Click on Lincoln County Assessor and then on “Assessor GIS” and search for your property.