Homeowners Brace For New Tax Valuations

A home tax deduction concept illustrating rental income

Lincoln, NE –January 8, 2021 – The Lancaster County Assessor/Register of Deeds will post the 2021 preliminary real property valuations to their website at orion.lancaster.ne.gov, and postcard notifications will be mailed to property owners on January 12th.  The valuations are intended to reflect the current market value of real property in Lancaster County.

Nebraska State Law requires Assessors to value all real property at market value each year. That requirement exists even during a global pandemic.

“When COVID rooted itself in our community last spring, we expected to see some disruption to the real estate market.   And while the market value of some commercial sectors has slowed, other sectors of commercial and residential properties continued to climb,” said Rob Ogden, Lancaster County Assessor.   “Record low interest rates, relatively low new home inventory, and a stable local economy are factors that have impacted the value of homes in the Lincoln area,” said Ogden.

The assessor’s office has modified their practices amid the COVID environment, to ensure customers and employees remain at a safe distance.   Since March, appraisers have limited their reviews of properties to street-reviews, review of GIS images and ‘bird’s eye’ imagery, and no longer attempt to contact owners at the doorstep.

Now, the Assessor’s office is modifying the way the public can share information during the review of the 2021 Preliminary Valuations.  The Assessor’s main web page allows property owners to quickly submit information regarding the market value of their property, something that previously required a face-to-face hearing.   “Our goal is to make it easy for the public to share information with our office, and for our website to function in a way that our customers can do online business with our office 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Ogden is hopeful that the ease in which owners can submit information will help ensure assessment records reflect an accurate description of properties in the county.  “Homeowners know their property best, and if our records don’t match, or they have additional market information, they need to bring the information to our attention,” said Ogden.

If property owners would like to talk to an appraiser directly, they can use the “Online Appeal” link on their property detail page and a schedule phone call with a staff appraiser.

Ogden reminds owners that the deadline for submitting information is February 15th.   He also reminds owners that the Preliminary Review is only the first stage in the valuation process.   “Our appraisal team continues to review through the statutory deadline in March.  Then, after review by the Tax Equalization and Review Commission, valuations are marked final and owners have the right to appeal the valuation to the County Board of Equalization during the month of June,” he added.

Anyone with questions is encouraged to visit the Assessor website, email the office at  [email protected], or call the office at (402) 441-7463.

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