In the next few days property owners in Lincoln County will receive a postcard in the mail titled “Assessment Change Notice”, said Paul Braden, assessor of property.

This is not a tax bill. It reflects the market value of a property as determined by Lincoln County appraisers during the county-wide revaluation program.

Property taxes are determined by applying the local tax rate to the assessment for each property. The tax rate is determined by each county and city governing body based on its budgetary needs.

The assessor of property and his staff will be available to discuss the new appraisals with property owners who have questions or who disagree with their new values. If you plan to visit the assessor’s office, please call ahead for an appointment. Property owners still in disagreement with the new appraisal after meeting with the assessor’s office may appeal to the County Board of Equalization.

The County Board of Equalization will meet beginning on June 3 to allow property owners who disagree with the new appraisal an opportunity to offer evidence supporting what they believe the actual value of their property to be. Property owners still dissatisfied with their appraisal after meeting with the County Board of Equalization may then appeal to the State Board of Equalization.

State law requires that, in the year of reappraisal, each taxing jurisdiction must establish a tax rate referred to as the “Certified Tax Rate”, which will generate the same total revenue as the previous year, thereby preventing governments from increasing revenues due to a reappraisal. The local governing body may, however, pass a tax increase by adopting a tax rate higher than the certified rate, but a public hearing must be held with the advertised intent of exceeding the certified rate in order to do so.

Property owners with agricultural, forest or open space land may be eligible for relief under what is commonly called the Greenbelt Law. This law allows certain land to be taxed based on its present use instead of its market value. The “Use Value” appraisal will usually be less than the “Market Value” appraisal. Property owners should contact the county assessor of property for assistance in filling out a “Greenbelt” application.

State law provides for property tax relief to certain low-income homeowners age 65 or over, certain permanently and totally disabled homeowners and certain disabled veterans. Property owners should contact the county trustee or city collecting official for details on the Property Tax Relief Program.