Thursday, June 21, 2018
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Local taxes third highest

LEXINGTON—Gothenburg maintains the third highest property tax levy of all Dawson County communities for the 2011-12 budget year.

Cozad is the highest at $2.338 with Lexington second at $2.225.

County commissioners set the final appropriations and levies for the county during their regular bimonthly meeting Friday morning.

Gothenburg’s overall levy increased 1.4% from $2.171 last year to $2.201.

Minimal increases on the city/airport and natural resources district lines make up much of the slight increase for Gothenburg residents.

Eddyville is now the most affordable place to live in Dawson County.

Eddyville’s total levy dropped below $2 per $100 in property value this year, taking over the bottom spot from Farnam, whose levy increased more than $1 for the 2011-12 fiscal year.

Farnam’s levy nearly doubled with the addition of .99663 paid in school tax, a line not included in last year’s levies.

In addition to setting the levies, county commissioners also adopted the budgets of each county office, giving officials authority over their department’s funds.

In other business, commissioners listened but took no action as Doug Stunkle of Ansley questioned once again property boundaries and tax liability for land he owns along the Platte River in southeast Dawson County.

Stunkel’s is not an unfamiliar face to commissioners. He has visited the board multiple times since purchasing the land in 2001.

He recently received notice that property taxes were delinquent on that land and tax sales certificates would be issued with foreclosure proceedings to follow if not paid.

Stunkel says the river has altered his land so much that a large portion of what he’s being taxed on isn’t even his.

He cited state statutes requiring land along the river to be surveyed every five years to determine acreage and ownership once the channel of the river has changed.

“My thought is that if that had been done, ownership would have been established and there wouldn’t be any question about this,” Stunkel said.

When asked if Stunkel had ever appeared before the board to protest his assessed acreage or valuation, he confirmed he had not.

“If you don’t think the tax statement is right, then you should come protest it to us and we might change it,” said Overton commissioner Dennis Rickertsen. “We did that once just this year.”

Stunkel has spent years in legal battle over approximately 300 acres of land.

In other action, commissioners:

received no bids for the concrete work to be done at the new Dawson County Transit office. The county can now pursue a contractor without bids.

approved a resolution directing county treasurer Sharon Wood to pursue tax sales certificates on $12,993 in property taxes that have been delinquent two years. The resolution also recognizes $1,435,417 in new delinquent taxes.

received a recommendation from the planning and zoning commission for expansion of the dump site by the Lexington Area Solid Waste Agency. A public hearing for a special use permit will be scheduled.

accepted a contract with Keith County to house jail inmates at a rate of $45 per day, the same cost assessed to other counties.

authorized a letter be sent to John Mooberry of Lincoln, offering employment as the county highway superintendent and engineer. Of the three applicants for the position, commissioners said Mooberry, a Lexington graduate, was the only one with engineer qualifications. Other applicants were Brent Lewis of Minden and Tim Gibbens of Gothenburg.