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Local review board hears appeals from Lennox property owners

On Monday, March 21 the Lennox City Council met as the Board of Equalization along with school board member, Merris Miller.

The board heard from city residents who were upset with their recent Lincoln County property tax assessments.

Ray Lundy, who had gone to Canton to complain, was upset at how his house has been assessed. The house, which Lundy purchased in 2009 for $68,500 had gradually increased over the years but rightfully so according to Lundy who had been doing work on the home. After new windows and extensive work inside in 2012, the house assessed for $77,800; the following year work continued and the house appraised for $79,800. However in 2014, Lundy said he sided the garage and was met with a 55% increase in one year, raising the assessment to $125,800.

He had gone to the County that year and the County reduced it to $100,000 but now this year, Lundy said it had increased to $113,000.

“I looked up the definition of equalization in the dictionary and it said fairness,” said Lundy. “I really have a tough time calling them fair…if Canton isn’t fair maybe Pierre will be, or there will be a for sale sign, because I can’t afford to live here.”

City Council member Marlyn Jacobson explained to Lundy that just because the evaluation went up doesn’t mean his taxes will go up accordingly.

“I was pretty angry about this,” said Lundy, “Now I’m just pretty numb.”

Council member, Mike Gregg, recommended reducing Lundy’s assessment to $98,000 with the land assessment staying as is.

The motion passed 4-3.

Another resident, Art Ringen, was objecting an assessment he received in 2015 on his property at 313 N Main.

“It was nearly a 47% increase,” Ringen said. This year the evaluation on the property dropped down $32,000.

“I have done nothing to this building since 2010,” said Ringen. While Ringen wasn’t objecting this year’s assessment he was objecting to the fact that it was hiked up so high last year.

While the Board understood Ringen’s frustration, since it was last year’s assessment it was determined he would have to go straight to the County.

The Daniel Larsen family was also at the meeting to ask for a change in their assessment.

The couple had bought their house two years ago for $228,000. They had an appraisal done last year which came back for $235,000 but their current tax assessment is $256,562.

“We have made no improvements,” they said.

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