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Tax officials say property value listed correctly

County tax officials said proper procedure was followed when a home that sold for nearly $170,000 was valued at $46,281.
Resident Terry Peeler ran an advertisement in the Monday edition of the Lincoln Times-News questioning the valuation of a home owned by Bryan and Teresa Huitt.
The information in the ad was taken from the county’s GIS database and showed the Huitts’ home along with its sale price, land value and total value. Printed next to the GIS information was the question “WHY?”
Peeler said he wanted to know why the $169,205 home was valued so low, therefore requiring the Huitts to pay just $305 in property taxes.
He said he discovered the information after doing research for a court case between Bryan Huitt and himself.
Madge Huffman, the county’s tax administrator, said the reason for the value being lower than the sale price is attributed to the date the house was valued.
“We are statutorily required to value (the home) at the point of construction it was at Jan. 1,” Huffman said.
The certificate of occupancy for the 1,730-square-foot house was not issued until March 10, according to Kelly Atkins, director of Building and Land Development.
And based on B&LD records, the insulation inspection was done on the home Dec. 14. That would have been the last inspection before the tax office’s.
Based on that, Atkins said it is safe to say the house was no more than half finished in mid-December.
And that’s why officials set the value so low.
“It’s not uncommon to have that low of a value at Jan. 1 if the C.O. (certificate of occupancy) is not issued until sometime in March,” said Huffman.by Alice Smith

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