HORACE, N.D. — Homeowners in the Cass County community of Horace are getting ready to challenge major increases to their home values.
Cass County officials recently assessed the worth of many homes in the city, with some home values jumping $75,000, $85,000 and even $110,000, according to posts by homeowners on community website Nextdoor, where many said they planned to fight the change.
Kevin Fisher with the Fargo-Moorhead Association of Realtors said the rise in price can be good if you want to sell, but bad if not.
"If you're living in (your home) long term, you want (the value) as low as possible, because then it's lower for taxes," he said.
Fisher added that the reason for the sharp rise in value is because estimates by assessors based in the city were lower than what they should've been.
"Horace was behind, so they had to bring it up to speed," he said.
From 2017 until recently, all assessments on Horace homes were done at the local level. Now, it's the county's responsibility.
"We're trying to fix all that and basically tighten up those values, and have everything as close to market as possible," Cass County's tax equalization director Paul Fracassi said of the estimates by the city in recent years.
Fracassi admits the increased values will lead to an increase in property taxes but right now, he doesn't know exactly by how much.
However, he says the new valuations were necessary.
"Next time we go through, we shouldn't see as many adjustments," Fracassi said. "We've got our data all up to date, and all the property records are where they should be."
If people think the assessments are unfair, Fracassi says he can meet with them one-on-one to talk about their concerns — an option he believes can soften the blow when it comes time to pay taxes.
"If it's wrong, we want to get it right so you are valued exactly where you need to be," Fracassi said.
People can set up appointments with Fracassi by calling the Cass County Assessor's Office at 701-241-5616 until April 17.