Letter to the Editor

County assessor owed thanks

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Dear Editor,

I would like to respond and comment on the Open Forum letter that appeared in the Dec. 29, 2015, McCook Gazette, written by Jim Wesch.

First, the letter is correct in stating how the farmers of Nebraska shoulder an unfair tax burden. Mr. Wesch basically makes the point that farm revenue is eaten up by high property taxes on agricultural land and the high cost of crop production.

An article from the Omaha World-Herald dated Aug. 30, 2015, states that Nebraska statistics indicate that property taxes on agricultural land have increased 162 percent statewide over the past decade. By contrast, commercial real estate values have risen 51 percent and residential property values 40 percent over the same period.

Fortunately, Hitchcock County has elected by a wide margin an assessor who is very knowledgeable of the Ag situation and valuations and is working diligently towards correcting the unfair taxation to our agriculture producers due to incorrect identification and classification of Ag land.

A good place to start is to nominate for the elective offices someone who will behave responsibly, then vote out anybody currently in office and replace them with those responsible people who will TRULY represent the citizens and not just the money-grabbing interests of the taxing entities.

Hitchcock County can proudly say that they have done just that in electing Marlene Bedore as Hitchcock County Assessor.

My second comment involves the $8,953,667 error found by Assessor Bedore for assessing property in the wrong tax district in 2014 by the previous county assessor. How could a nine million dollar error of this nature actually occur? Someone is responsible for this major error.

Ask those involved how this could happen? Elect to the office someone who will work on behalf of the taxpayer. Again, Hitchcock County can proudly say that they have done just that by electing a dedicated, honest, and hard- working county assessor. All citizens of Hitchcock County owe Assessor Bedore a big "THANK YOU" for a job well done!


John Walters

Culbertson, Nebraska

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  • "Dedicated, honest and hard-working"...yes, to her "friends".


    -- Posted by Rural Citizen on Wed, Dec 30, 2015, at 2:20 PM
  • He says - "Elect to the office someone who will work on behalf of the taxpayer." Let me translate that. --- Probably best to vote into office someone who will get rid of as many government people as possible and shrink the government to a mere skeleton of what it is now.

    -- Posted by bob s on Wed, Dec 30, 2015, at 10:35 PM
  • Must be one of those folks who benefits from her crony favoritism. Time to get her out and let the state take it over again, like they had to do once before!

    -- Posted by allstar69 on Thu, Dec 31, 2015, at 11:11 AM
  • *

    Interesting that the tax on an acre of pasture is $5.50 per acre in Hitchcock Co and I think I read somewhere it is is almost $10 per acre in Red Willow Co. That is a big difference.

    -- Posted by ksfarmer on Thu, Dec 31, 2015, at 1:00 PM
  • The system isn't working taxing property for all.

    What happen to the old adage to watch how the tax dollars are spent. All you hear is, how can we get more tax money, where can we add another tax?

    Assessing should be done by contractors that know what they are doing. Commissioners should not be be the ones to hold the hears. Conflict of interest isn't it? The assessor should bear the burden of proof of how they come up with the valuations they do. Nor should the commissioners and assessor be able to discuss the hearings before or after. Whose watching these Assessors? As far as this taxpayer goes, don't thing the State was hard enough on the Hitchcock Co Assessor. The laws should protect the taxpayers.

    -- Posted by S&P1958 on Fri, Jan 1, 2016, at 9:16 AM
  • What a well written article it is very disturbing to see and read how people respond to an article when they use words such as I think and heard. Our constitution was laid out so the people would have the right to speak up and be heard, that is why these are elected positions at your court house. Bob S you claim the new assessor is shrinking the government? once again you should get some validity to what you are saying or at least have proof to back it up. I would advise anyone who has read this article if you haven't already talked to the assessor about a particular problem you have, don't complain. If you were getting special benefits from the previous assessor and that has changed now then I would say things are getting back to equal like they were intended. It never seems to amaze me how folks now days can join a bandwagon and have no reason why or proof. If you are going to say things are not being assessed evenly ask yourself how much tax do you pay? I would guess the majority of you that are complaining don't pay on much more than a house. Jon points out in the article about a 9 million dollar mistake that was caught and fixed now. This mistake was made by the previous assessor and passed by the commissioners to me this is more than just a mistake. In conclusion the majority of the taxes being paid comes from Ag land take the time and ask a landowner who IS paying a lot of tax, what they think about the job the new assessor is doing and I think you will find out that she is doing a excellent job and fixing a filthy mess.

    -- Posted by Iron Man on Fri, Jan 1, 2016, at 1:32 PM
  • Reading the "Walters" story and the comments posted are only opinions people. J. Walters speaks the facts, and being an out of county taxpayer myself, the market is the market folks. This assessor did what the law requires. Identify, and value according to the market. When you have CREP land selling for $1700 an acre and irrigated land right beside it selling for $3400 an acre; this is the responsibility of the assessor to review these sales and proper classify them according to law. Now, if you are in the category of not paying your fair share according to law, you probably aren't a taxpayer of healthy tax burdens. Government programs started back when land values were much lower, and the contracts cannot increase with non-gov. programs such as CREP and CRP. Look around folks, you are only upset if you haven't paid your fair share of the Hitchcock County taxes.

    Out of County Taxpayer

    -- Posted by outcountytaxpayer on Sat, Jan 2, 2016, at 2:49 PM
  • It appears that the taxpayers of Hitchcock County are comfortable with crony favoritism and malfeasance of duty in a public office, as evidenced by no apparent effort to throw this woman out of office? Well, OK then! You get what you deserve, and I can certainly live with that!

    -- Posted by allstar69 on Sun, Jan 3, 2016, at 7:03 PM
  • When did the citizens of Hitchcock County become so apathetic? Why hasn't a recall petition been started? Is anyone out there questioning the motivations of the Assessor?

    -- Posted by Concerned For Hitchcock County on Tue, Jan 5, 2016, at 3:46 PM
  • Drive around the county and the four communities, Concerned! It is apparent they have been apathetic for some time!

    -- Posted by allstar69 on Tue, Jan 5, 2016, at 5:25 PM
  • I don't know if I know anymore accurate info. about this situation than before, but I did learn something today thanks to everyone's comment writing efforts. Writing styles are tantamount to a fingerprint.

    -- Posted by hulapopper on Wed, Jan 6, 2016, at 6:49 AM
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