April 17, 2024

Revaluation increases school district value

Union County Assessor office will share results of the county wide property evaluation with respective city councils beginning this month.

Union County’s residential revaluation last year has brought the Creston Community School District an almost $40 million increase in assessed value, according to Union County Assessor Mindy Schaefer at Monday’s school board meeting. The revaluation covered 5,752 land parcels county-wide, 4,221 of which exist in the school district.

Cedar Rapids-based company Vanguard Appraisals, Inc. looked at ag dwellings, rural residential properties and urban residential properties. The county as a whole had more than $60 million increase, at a rate of 9.6%.

Vanguard also did door-to-door field work, attempting to talk with the landowners in order to do an interior inspection.

“I felt it was successful with the numbers that they turned in. Out of the 5,000 parcels that they reviewed, 47% were inspected, so they were actually able to get into the house and went through and collected the data that they needed,” Schaefer said.

Of the rest of the properties, 8% submitted property information online, 4% provided information to the data collector at the door, 21% were not able to be reached, 11% refused entry and 9% had no dwelling.

Though some of the properties reviewed had large ranges in change, the average change in value was an increase of $10,659. Nineteen new homes for built in 2023, contributing to this number.

Schaefer hopes to do another revaluation in 2035.

The new property values will apply to taxes in September 2025, payable in March 2026. Assessed value is not equal to tax value.

Assessment notices will be sent to property owners Feb. 26, including a letter explaining the appeals process. The Union County Assessor office will continue to relay assessment information to impacted organizations this month.

In other school board news...

Superintendent Deron Stender said he’s disappointed in sportsmanship from fans at games this year. He said a number of officials have told him they don’t plan on coming back to officiate a Creston game due to audience actions. More people have been kicked out of games this year than in the previous 20 years, Stender said.

The board approved the first reading of policies vol. 32.2, which looks at artificial intelligence use in the school district. Stender said the state has not provided many guidelines.

Elementary School Principal Casey Tanner’s resignation was approved. Tanner will continue teaching in the district. The district plans to open the position to applications later this week.

The school board approved the February 2023 list of contracts and resignations.

Resignations: Sandra Shimer, cook; Amber Buchana, cook; Joan Miller, cook; Jenny Hancock, para; Kevin Cooper, head 8th grade football coach; Casey Tanner, elementary principal (end of 23-24 school year).

Contracts: Dalton Gross, HS social studies teacher (24-25 school year); McKynna Newbury, 2nd grade teacher (24-25 school year); Paige Davis, 2nd grade teacher (24-25 school year); Brenda Cook, para; Kimberly Miller, para; Navada Hoff, para.

Erin Henze

Originally from Wisconsin, Erin is a recent graduate from UW-Stevens Point. Outside of writing, she loves to read and travel.