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State relief helps to lower tax bills for residences; commercial is up

Posted 12/08/15 (Tue)

By Cecile Krimm
A state tax credit of 12 percent from the State of North Dakota will result in lower property tax bills than last year for many residential property owners, while some see tax bills increase only slightly.
But the percentage of property tax paid by utilities is also having a huge impact -- now accounting for 31 percent of all local tax paid, up from only 7 percnet back in 2012.
This is the third year in a row the state has applied the tax credit to all property, but commercial property will still see a hefty increase this year.
“It’s because they reassessed like they did a few years ago,” said Divide County Auditor Gayle Jastrzebski, using the Vantage software.
Jastrzebski last week provided a spread sheet on 2015 tax rates for a number of example properties watched each year by The Journal.
She said Treasurer Sheila Haugland is on track to begin mailing out tax statements at the end of the week.
The spreadsheet shows the value of a sample commercial property in Crosby increasing  by 78 percent, resulting in a tax bill $753 higher than last year. 
An additional $259 would have been paid if not for the state’s relief. State relief brought the tax bill down to a 65 percent increase.
Percentagewise, the share of tax burden borne by commercial properties is the same as last year -- 12 percent.
On the flip side, the value of a sample home increased by $3,000, but the tax bill is about $80 less than last year, once the state relief is applied.
Tax bills on residential properties are also being impacted by a 2 percent decline in the share of overall tax burden they bear, now at 14 percent.
The overall tax burden being carried by ag land continued it’s downward trend to a new all time low. Ag properties are now paying only 43 percent of all property tax in the county, down from a high of 87 percent in 2003.
In general, ag land valuations increased 8 percent, but with utilities like pipelines increasing the tax base so significantly this year, two of The Journal’s sample parcels saw increases of only about $6.
A parcel in Fertile Valley Township, which is in the Grenora School District, increased $45.