HARTINGTON — Cedar County valuation declined for the third straight year in 2019.
A report released by Cedar County Assessor Don Hoesing shows Cedar County’s total taxable property valuation for 2019 dropped from $2.617 billion in 2018 down to $2.518 billion this year.
The $99.4 million valuation decrease is the largest in Cedar County history.
Prior to this, the largest valuation decrease recorded here took place in 2017, when Cedar County’s valuation came in $73 million less than the previous year.
Hoesing said the valuation drop is a direct reflection of the value of agricultural land.
“The ag economy, that’s what drives a community like this,” he said. “That’s pretty typical in rural areas like ours.”
The price for agricultural land has gone down in the past few years, so the Assessor’s office had to reduce the valuation.
Hoesing said his office lowered all dry land and irrigated farm land about 10 percent.
“That’s where the bulk of that (decrease) comes from,” he said.
Sales of Cedar County dryland were down from the peak here a few years ago, so the valuations had to reflect that, he said.
The state mandates a specific range for property values, he said.
“We had to drop it (the valuation) about 10 percent to fall within the state mandated ranges,” he said.
The State requires ag land to be valued at not more than 75 percent of its actual value. Residential and commercial property must be valued at between 92-100 percent of its actual value.
Cedar County is not alone, most area counties have also seen a valuation decrease this year.
The Assessor’s office reports that Personal Property in Cedar County for 2019 is valued at $161,126,501. This is down compared to 2018 when Personal Property was valued at $174,184,277.
Cedar County real estate is valued at $2,357,334,746 in 2019. Cedar County real estate was valued at $2,443,742,627 in 2018.
Hoesing said personal property can be anything from farm equipment, except for vehicles, to business furniture or computers.
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