People of Fargo Upset with Property Assessments

 In April, many people in Fargo were informed their property values were dramatically increasing but some locals say they just now are learning their homes have increased in value.

A letter sent by the Fargo Parks District was meant to inform people how much of their tax dollars were going to be allocated to the different local government branches and also inform them of the upcoming Parks budget meeting.

Needless to say, the letter had more than a few people confused.

“I really wasn’t sure it was going to be so much a park board meeting. I thought it would probably be the assessor probably taking more input,” said local homeowner Scott Satran.

Satran wasn’t alone in this confusion.

A number of people attended the park meeting upset about their property evaluations, something completely out of the hands of the Parks District.

“They had to sit there and take flak from the irate homeowners who had just found out their assessments had gotten jerked up between 20 and 100 percent so it was not a very fun time for them,” said Satran.

A few of the homeowners at the meeting say the notice they received was the first they had heard about their property being reassessed.

Cass County Auditor Michael Montplaisir says he finds that hard to believe though.

“I don’t believe that would be true because the city sends out notices in April like I said and they’re very meticulous about that.”

He says the time for people to express their concerns with their evaluations was back in April when the initial notices were sent out by refuting them with the City Commission or the appraiser.

Even though it’s too late for any changes in this year’s evaluations, this bout of confusion has people talking about their concerns with the way the city evaluates property.

This year brought huge spikes in property values for many Fargo homeowners.

In some extreme cases, over 100 percent.

“If their property went up that much in value usually it’s due to it hasn’t been looked at in a number of years, it hasn’t been adjusted for a number of years, they did an addition to their property or they lost an exemption,” said Montplaisir.

Many people blame the method the city uses for evaluating property assessments to be the route of these harsh increases.

Montplaisir says the city assesses home values based on what other homes in the area sell for and that system is mandated by state legislation.

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