Burdess v. Washington County Board of Equalization

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Burdess v. Washington County Board of Equalization

Case Number
Call Date
October 5, 2017
Case Time
9:00 AM
Court Number
Case Location
Case Summary

S-17-0026, William Burdess v. Washington County Board of Equalization

Tax Equalization and Review Commission, Commissioners Robert W. Hotz and Nancy J. Salmon

Attorneys: Appellant: Aaron F. Smeall (Smith Slusky Pohren & Rogers LLP); Appellee: M. Scott Vander Schaaf, Emily A. Beamis (Washington County)

Criminal/Civil: Civil; Property Tax; Land valuation

Proceedings Below: The Appellant appealed the valuation by the Washington County Board of Equalization (Washington Cty.) of two parcels of property for the tax years 2013, ‘14, ‘15, and ’16 to the Tax Equalization and Review Commission (TERC). TERC vacated the ‘13 and ‘14 orders because a portion of the parcels should have been classified as wasteland. The ‘15 and ‘16 valuations were affirmed.

Issues:  The issues in this case are: (1) whether the portions of the appellant’s two parcels that are classified as wasteland should be valued at $0, because under the Nebraska constitution agricultural and horticultural land should be valued based on its use capability, and because wasteland by definition is agricultural or horticultural land that has no agricultural or horticultural use capability; (2) whether TERC erred in not equalizing the appellant’s property valuation with a nearby, similar property; and (3) whether TERC erred by not reducing the appellant’s property valuation, because Washington Cty. adds $10,000 in valuation to all properties that have utility hookups, even for properties like the appellant’s that have improvements that are also factored into the valuation.

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