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Published February 17, 2010, 03:02 PM

County’s agriculture land values to increase

The Stutsman County Commission was informed at its regular February meeting Tuesday the average value of agricultural land will go up about 14 percent for next tax year, according to Noel Johnson, chief operating officer and tax director for the county.

By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun

The Stutsman County Commission was informed at its regular February meeting Tuesday the average value of agricultural land will go up about 14 percent for next tax year, according to Noel Johnson, chief operating officer and tax director for the county.

“We got the certification from the state,” he said. “And the state tells us what our ag land values should be based on a legislative formula. Our average value for Stutsman County will go up from $304 per acre to $345 per acre.”

Johnson said the formula is based on costs, revenues and interest rates for the past 10 years with the lowest and highest year thrown out.

“This year we’re including a higher income year and a lower income year is sliding out of the formula,” he said.

The county uses soil maps to determine which agriculture properties have above or below average yield potential. This is used to calculate the value of individual properties while the overall county average value is set by the legislative formula.

Johnson said the county will not have to adjust the ag land values the entire 13.6 percent but will have to come within 5 percent to fall within state Tax Department guidelines.

The commission also approved a resolution supporting the continuation of the 911 Emergency Services Communications Fee. The issue had already been scheduled for the June primary ballot.

The resolution calls for a continuation of the tax as it exists now but does use new terminology as defined by North Dakota Century Code.

If approved by the voters the $1 per month tax will continue on what are now referred to as “communication connections.”

“A communication connection is defined as any device capable of calling 911,” said Jerry Bergquist Stutsman County emergency manager. “It is just a different term for what we’ve done in the past with the tax on land lines, cell phones and voice-over Internet devices.”

Commissioners opened three bids for a new motor grader. Bids ranged from $190,543 to $143,726. Action on the bids was tabled for a month to allow road department officials to review them and determine if the proposals meet specifications.

The commission also delayed action on the purchase of a pickup for the sheriff’s office due to a lack of bids.

Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at

(701) 952-8452 or by e-mail at knorman@jamestownsun.com

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