The perennial battle is back in full swing as homeowners in Douglas County are getting unexpected news about the value of their homes.
As the 2019 property valuation postcards came to homeowners across the county, many couldn't believe that their valuations went up by tens of thousands of dollars, some seeing increases of $30,000 and $40,000.
Homeowner Ricardo Hernandez says they bought their house because it was close to a good school, had a great location and because the property valuation was a good value. Now, he says he's not so sure that it's a fair valuation, since it went up $25,000 for 2019. "It definitely throws off your budget, that's for sure and now we're gonna have to find money in the bank for it somehow."
Douglas County Commissioner Mary Ann Borgeson tells 6 News that she has been flooded with calls from worried homeowners saying, “that they are in double digits and they're very concerned. They've been through this process a couple of years ago. Last year they didn't see as much and they're right back at these high increases.”
Past County Assessors under-valued property. Current Assessor, Diane Battiato, decided to bring property values up to market levels - first for land values, then for structures - each in one lump sum. Borgeson said, “My argument has been all along that even though we are behind double digit increases and making up those areas in which we are behind should not be done in one fell swoop because our taxpayers can't handle that.”
Hernandez says he agrees. “What are working families...what are they gonna do about it? More money is going to come out of their checks to pay for this drastic increase, what's that gonna do?"
Those wishing to contest their valuations would need set up an appointment with the County Assessor's office before February 28th.
(Photo courtesy of 6 News)