Board of Equalization cuts a few values

NEW ULM — The Brown County Board of Equalization reduced a few property values, but not by much Monday.

Commissioners unanimously agreed with Brown County Assessor Anne Grunert’s recommendations in each review.

As he has most years, farmer Jerome Graff asked for a number of value reductions on several parcels of land. He presented 76 acres of bare, tillable land at $7,644 an acre with a present value of $581,000.

The property was reviewed by Senior Appraiser Angela Gauert who listed the recommended value at $578,300, reflecting a small field adjustment for two acres in the northwest corner of the parcel with a slope that makes it hard to farm and is mowed for hay.

Graff submitted other parcels for consideration.

No change was recommended for 37.31 acres of bare ag land with an $87,400 ($2,343 an acre) present value; no change for 2.69 acres of wooded, vacant land valued at $5,400 ($2,000 an acre); and no change for 40 acres of bare ag land valued at $60,000 ($1,500 an acre).

Graff complained about the Cottonwood River flooding his land.

“I’ve been battling this for three years. It takes my yield down. I think basing the land value on prices totally distorts it,” Graff said. “It’s a challenge to farm. Big guys won’t mess with this land. It’s valued more than it should be. I raise more coyotes than cattle. It’s wasteland, way overvalued. Everything floods to hell and back. Everybody else puts in tile lines. The water and river problems will only get worse. It raises hell with stuff.”

Commissioners agreed with Grunert’s recommendations, motion by Commissioner Tony Berg, seconded by Commissioner Scott Windschitl.

Tyler Zollner submitted a consideration form for a duplex at 603 10th Street South. The present value of the property is $155,200. He presented an appraisal done at the time of his sale. He did not attend the meeting, so commissioners took no action. Grunert recommended no change.

Staff appraiser Jim Heil inspected the property on May 1 and found the property in average condition with minor discrepancies. The minimum basement finish was found to be in fair condition rather than average. The local board of equalization recommended a value reduction to $155,200 based on the findings that was approved.

It was noted there have been no one-story duplex sales in New Ulm or Sleepy Eye over the past eight years that were deemed qualified sales.

James and Donna Krueger submitted ag land valued at $301,500 at 16423 CR 16. The recommended value was set at $301,100, approved on a motion by Commissioner Jeff Veerkamp, seconded by Berg. Krueger asked for consideration because a bin was given away and removed.

Stanley Wurtzberger submitted ag land valued at $779,500 at 17948 200th Avenue after a building was removed. The recommended value was $779,400, approved on a motion by Berg, seconded by Commissioner Dean Simonsen.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.