Benson’s assessed value increases by nearly $1.5 million

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Each April the City of Benson’s Board of Equalization (the city council) conducts a public hearing at which property owners in Benson can come and talk about their taxes.

Swift County Assessor Wayne Knutson and Swift County Appraiser Darla Schwendemann spent the good part of the afternoon and early evening in the city council chambers prepared to go over assessments with homeowners and business owners. The city council sets aside an hour to hear complaints or appeals along with recommendations on any changes from Knutson and Schwendemann.

But at Monday night’s meeting no one showed up. With a light agenda, the council meeting got underway with the opening of the public hearing and then proceeded on to other business. That took just over 20 minutes. So for the next 40 minutes the council was required to stick around until the published time of 6:30 p.m. for end of the public hearing arrived.

Knutson did tell the council that he had received two calls on home valuations. One was from a resident wanting a reduction in the house value, but the other from a person who actually wanted to see his go up.

The owner of a Willow Way home in north Benson pointed out that he had made major garage and home improvements that should have increased the value of his house. Based on the discussion and viewing the improvements, Knutson recommended the property’s value be increased from $70,000 to $82,900.

But on a home on 12th Street South the owner was requesting a substantial reduction in the property’s value. It was set at $104,600 for 2017 taxes. A tour of the home showed that there were significant flooring issues where a bay window addition was settling. There were additional structural problems in the home and much of the wiring is more than 60 years old.

It is a 100-year-old house that needs a lot of work, Knutson said. As a result, he lowered its condition from average to fair and recommended its value be dropped to $71,500 for 2018 taxes.

The council unanimously approved both recommendations.

In the 2017 spring mini-abstract of the city’s property values, Knutson pointed out that the value of all property in the city now totals $167,187,400. That is an increase of nearly $1.5 million from last year. Much of that increase can be attributed to the new Do-Mat’s grocery store coming on the tax rolls, Knutson said....


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