BROKEN BOW – The Custer County Board of Supervisors concluded a two-day gauntlet of property valuation hearings on Friday. The board heard valuation protest claims from all corners of the county, both literal and figurative, and ranged from commercial to residential values, down to the increment of a single square foot.
Each protester had their own reasons for coming forward: one owner of a storage facility said they wanted to keep their small-town renters happy, and if the taxes on their facility were raised, they would be forced to charge more, thus potentially driving away her long-time tenants.
Another resident claimed that the estimated value of his office building was far too much based on findings of his own.
“I’ve done a comparison of five properties, all are bigger than mine, all sold for less, and all are within three blocks of my place.”
Another still compared the estimated value of a building he’s owned for almost 20 years to others nearby. “All of them are bigger. One example is right across the street from me: an office building that sold for $140,000 and has 16,000 square feet. Mine only has 1200.”
Custer voiced another concern regarding how his property had been valued and the utility of spaces in terms of valuation. “Office buildings in Broken Bow aren’t worth a lot because we don’t need a lot of office space. If it was storage space that could hold a camper or a vehicle, it’s gold. But that’s not the case.”
However, he went on to acknowledge that in terms of quality of life, property values are not where the buck stops. “It is what it is. We live in this county because we like the lifestyle, not because we’re trying to make money off commercial property.”
It remains to be seen whether or not the board will factor in the utility of spaces or lifestyle in terms of approving or denying valuation claims, though decisions are expected to be made at the July 18 board meeting. Those who had submitted protests are not required to attend; however, the meeting will be open to the public.