Farmland taxes go up under proposed county levyPublished 10:06am Monday, September 10, 2012
Freeborn County residential and commercial business owners may see a decrease in their county property taxes in 2013 under the preliminary tax levy approved last week. Owners of farmland, however, may see an increase.Ill
The Freeborn County Board of Commissioners approved a $19.46 million preliminary county levy, which includes a 1.5 percent levy increase when compared to 2012. While the levy can be lowered between now and December, it cannot be raised.
Freeborn County Assessor Ryan Rasmusson said the impact of the proposed levy is mainly because of the values of properties.
While the values of residential and commercial buildings have stayed the same or slightly decreased overall, the values of ag land have increased by an average of 16 percent — from about $4,480 per acre in 2012 to $5,200 in 2013. Thus, the ag properties are seeing the increase.
Rasmusson did not have estimated impacts readily available for a proposed 1.5 percent county levy increase, but he did have estimates for a 2 percent increase. He said a $100,000 residential or $200,000 commercial property could see an estimated 5 to 6 percent decrease in county taxes, while owners of ag land could see an increase of about 9 percent.
Freeborn County Administrator John Kluever said much of the increase in the levy would go to support additional highway department needs.
Under the preliminary budget approved Tuesday, county budget expenditures for 2013 are about $41.14 million, while revenues are about $40.7 million.
Expenditures were up $54,000.
Commissioner Mike Lee said he hopes he and the other commissioners can lower the levy in December because he thinks it is going to be a rough year for farmers.
Commissioners had to approve the preliminary levy and budget by Sept. 15. They will vote on the final levy and budget in December.