Ag land values are on the rise

Published 9:15 am Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The value of tillable agricultural land in Freeborn County is increasing an average of 40 percent this year, according to calculations from the county Assessor’s Office.

Notices of property values and classifications are slated to be mailed at the end of the week and will be used when calculating taxes for 2014, said County Assessor Ryan Rasmusson.

“The ag land market has really escalated in the last few years,” Rasmusson said, noting that the county is updating the values to align them with values from recent farmland sales.

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He said on average, ag land is now valued at about $7,280 per acre. The year before, farmland was valued at about $5,200 per acre.

What is causing the raise in values?

Rasmusson said the increase is necessary to keep local values in line with state requirements. The Assessor’s Office is required to value properties at between 90 and 105 percent of what similar property is selling for.

He said in the future if sale prices are decreasing, the values will be changed to reflect that.


Other changes

Rasmusson said Albert Lea commercial and industrial property owners can also expect some changes in their assessed values.

These properties have been reassessed into new valuation models, and as a result, some property owners will see decreases, while others will see increases, he said. Some values will stay about the same.

He said the top reason for implementing the new assessment model is to make sure there is equity in the assessments and that they are in the range of what the properties would sell for. It also gives the Assessor’s Office the capability to easier respond to and analyze the market more easily.

In general, he said, the county Assessor’s Office had been running low on the assessed values of the city’s commercial and industrial properties.

Rural residential properties have also been converted and are being assessed in the new model.

Rasmusson said newer rural homes will probably see increases in their values, while most other homes will probably see decreases.

Residential properties in Albert Lea have already been converted to the new model. He said overall, Albert Lea residential properties are more stable, though there are some fluctuations.

Rasmusson encouraged people to contact his office if they have any questions or concerns with their valuations.

People can also appeal their assessed values to their local town board or to the Freeborn County Board of Appeals and Equalization.

Information on local board of appeals and county board of appeals meetings will be included on the valuation notices.

The Assessor’s Office can be reached by dialing 377-5176.