Farmers and ranchers concerned about land valuation jump

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Updated: Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:09:56 CST

Nebraska ag land is seeing double digit growth for the sixth year in a row. That's a good thing, right? Well, it depends on how you look at it. The Department of Revenue released its analysis of land value in the state's 93 counties yesterday.

12.45% and nearly 21 billion dollars... It's another giant jump overall in land valuation across the state. Ag land experiencing the greatest growth, increasing over 29% from last year. While this isn't coming as a huge surprise, farmers and ranchers are voicing concern.

In a statement released by the Nebraska Farm Bureau, President Steve Nelson said, "...The associated increases in property taxes are carried by farm and ranch families who make up less than three percent of our population, but pay more than 25% of the property taxes collected statewide."

Overall, when you combine ag land and residential property, several counties increased far greater than the state average. Adams County saw a nearly 18% increase. Buffalo County nearly 17% and Hamilton County nearly 28%. Others like Kearney County with a 34 and a half percent increase and Webster County with a nearly 32% increase topped the average ag land value increase. Hall County with just under a 12% increase in total property value, fell below the state average.

While this doesn't automatically mean higher property tax bills, this is adding fuel to the fire for those calling for property tax relief.