Making News Now

WAHOO – A new law to help property owners faced with damage from a calamity was discussed at Tuesday’s County Board of Supervisors meeting.

Saunders County Assessor/Register of Deeds Rhonda Andresen told the board that more information is coming out about LB 512.

The bill passed this past session by the Unicameral is aimed at helping owners of real property whose property has suffered significant damage as a result of a calamity occurring on or after Jan. 1 and before July 1 of the current assessment year. The new law directs those property owner to file Form 425 with the county assessor and the county clerk on or before July 15.

The new law does apply to damage caused by the March flooding.

Andresen said she has already received four forms.

She told the board that her office will work with re- assessment documentation, but the law spells out it is up to county board of equalization to make the final determination if any valuation adjustments are made.

“So, this will be in your hands,” she said.

The board of equalization has until July 25 to take action. However, it can grant itself an extension on that until Aug. 10.

Those filing form 425 must accompany it with documentation of the damage. The damage must exceed 20 percent of the assessed value of the current tax year for the real property.

Andresen said the law does not cover crops or livestock.

According to the Department of Revenue, Property Assessment Division, a calamity is defined as a disastrous event, including, but not limited to, a fire, an earthquake, a flood, a tornado, or other natural event which significantly affects the assessed value of the property.

Destroyed real property does not include property suffering significant property damage that is caused by the owner of the property.

Significant property damage is defined as:

1. Damage to an improvement exceeding 20 percent of the improvement’s assessed value in the current tax year as determined by the county assessor;

2. Damage to the land exceeding 20 percent of a parcel’s assessed land value in the current tax year as determined by the county assessor; or

3. Damage exceeding 20 percent of the property’s assessed value in the current tax year as determined by the county assessor if a) The property is located in an area that has been declared a disaster area by the Governor and b) A housing inspector or health inspector has determined the property is uninhabitable or unlivable.

Andresen said she would anticipate more forms coming in,

The form and instructions may be found at http://www.revenue.nebraska.gov/PAD/forms/f_425.pdf.

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