Commissioners approve taxable valuations by townships
Moves on tracking system for sheriff’s department
COUNTY – The Walsh County Commissioners, at their regular meeting Tuesday, passed a motion to accept land valuations broken down by township.
Walsh County Tax Director Mary Wild presented commissioners with maps of the county with each township delineated. One map showed the 2013 price per acre for all land for each individual township and the other showed the land values township by township for 2014.
Land valuations are based on soil mapping studies done by each township. Price per acre of land is ultimately determined the Agribusiness and Applied Economics department at NDSU and then certified by the state tax department.
Land valuations are used to determine property taxes and the value of mills that are levied by entities like township boards, public schools, city governments and the county commission each budget year.
The state recently set the value of agricultural land in Walsh County at $909.62, and increase from $819.71 in 2013. Walsh County’s agricultural land valuation is the fifth highest in the state.
The valuations presented to the commissioners Tuesday represent the average price per-acre per township for all land.
Some of the biggest jumps in price per acre occurred in west-central townships in the county. For example, price per acre in Vesta Township went up from $442 per-acre to $743.30 per-acre, a jump of $301.30. Norton Township went from $475 per-acre to $763.89 per-acre and Golden Township went from $555 per-acre to $237.90 per acre.
Some townships stayed close to the same and others went down. Acton Township in extreme eastern Walsh County saw its land valuation go down from $1,061 per-acre to $845.95 per-acre, a drop of $215.05.
Commissioner Jack Karas said he didn’t mind the fact that valuations were going up – but he would like to see valuations go up gradually.
Wild told the commissioners that the rise in taxable valuations doesn’t necessarily mean property taxes are going up, that depends on what the various entities in the county decide to levy come budget time.
Luther Meberg made the motion to accept the valuations as presented and it was seconded by Karen Anderson. Karas asked for a roll call vote on the motion. Meberg, Anderson and Allen Ruzicka all voted in favor and Karas was the lone dissenting vote.
In other business the commission:
• By a 3-1 vote, passed a motion to purchase a GPS tracking system for some of the departments squad cars. The initial investment for the equipment is $6,770 with a monthly service fee of $28 per vehicle. The motion was made by Ruzicka to make the purchase and it was seconded by Anderson. Meberg was the lone dissenting vote. Upon recommendation from Sheriff Wild, the commission also unanimously passed a motion for three more security cameras in public areas of the courthouse and one more for the law enforcement center.