Scotts Bluff County - Assessor

The County Assessor is an elected official who has general supervision over and the direction of the assessment of all property in his or her county. The duties are prescribed by Nebraska Statutes, Rules and Regulations (Chapter 77), which have the effect of law. The following is a partial list of those duties:

  • Administer the assessment statutes of Nebraska law.
  • Establish and maintain fair and equitable value on all real and personal property within the county.
  • Attend all meetings of the County Board of Equalization.
  • Review all applications for religious, charitable and educational tax exemptions.
  • Review all applications for Homestead Exemptions.
  • Maintain cadastral records (i.e., parcel maps) on all property in the county.
  • Prepare abstract of value and certification of taxes levied for State Property Tax Administrator.
  • Prepare annual tax roll for the County Treasurer.

Online Assessment Access

Please understand that there is a delay in some of the information as it is being developed by the Assessors Office and processed through Lincoln. Check with the Assessors Office for exact, up to date information.

Online Information has been collected by the Scotts Bluff County Assessor's Office for their assessment purposes.  The Assessor's Office does not take responsibility for any other use of this information by the public.

Assessor Online

Instructions for using New Website Assessor Online

Contact Information

Location

Administration Building - 1st Floor
1825 10th Street
Gering, NE 69341

Drop Box located on the south side of the Admin Building

Office Hours

Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Open through the lunch hour
Closed Weekends and Holidays

Contact

308 436-6627 - Main
308 436-6699 - Fax

Angela Dillman - Assessor
adillman@scottsbluffcounty.org

Office Staff
assessor@scottsbluffcounty.org

Protest Form and Additional Documents:

Protest Form
2021 Commissioner Letter
2020 Levy Breakdown by Tax District
Real Property Valuation Protest Information Guide
Valuation versus Taxes
IAAO’s Understanding Your Assessment

Notice - Potential "SCAM" Targeting Property Owners

Sales Verification Questionnaire

The Scotts Bluff County values are based on market trends.  A two year sales study is used to determine residential values while a three year sales study is used to determine commercial and agricultural values.  The sales verification questionnaires assist our office in ensuring that only good arm’s-length transactions are used to include in the statistics.  Nebraska directive 16-3 directs us to verify every sale.  Please fill out the questionnaire that relates to your property.  If you need help filling out the forms or have questions, please call our office at 308-436-6627.

Once the forms are filled out, please send them to our office, they can be dropped off, mailed or emailed.  We appreciate your help in making sure that we have the best data we can have to set values to ensure that your value is fairly assessed.

Our office is located at 1825 10th Street, Gering, NE 69341 and the email address to send the questionnaire to is assessor@scottsbluffcounty.org

All questionnaires must be saved to your computer and opened using Adobe reader to save any changes (Microsoft Edge and Chrome will not work).

Agriculture Questionnaire

Commercial Questionnaire

Residential Questionnaire

Online Personal Property Return Filing

You may file your Scotts Bluff County Personal Property Return Online from the Link below using your Schedule and PIN numbers from the Post Card mailed to you by your County Assessor. This feature is only available for pre-existing tax payers and requires a Federal Depreciation Schedule to be uploaded.

If you are a First Time filer, there is a form below, Personal Property Return, in the "Additional Links" section or come into our office.

Nebraska Personal Property Return Online for Scotts Bluff County

FaceBook

 

Frequently Asked Questions

2020 Protest Information

Protest 2020

Summer of 2020 is uncertain as we move forward during the COVID-19 pandemic. We urge property owners to call the office if they have any questions or concerns when they receive their Change of Value Notice. Property owners can also email the office at assessor@scottsbluffcounty.org. We ask for patience when researching what may have changed on a parcel as there were several changes in 2020 and it may not be a simple answer. If you disagree with the value of the property, we urge property owners to electronically send us the protest form, mail it in or use the drop box on the south side of the administration building. It is important more now than ever that a reason is given as to why the protest is filed and a good phone number is provided so that we may research issues and contact the property owners. Property valuation protests have been set for the week of July 6th but we are unsure of how hearings will be handled this year.

Where do I file my protest?

The protest must be filed to the County Clerk’s office in the month of June. It can be emailed to protest@scottsbluffcounty.org, faxed to 308-436-3178, mailed to 1825 10th Street, Gering, NE 69341 or dropped in the drop box on the South side of the Administration Building. It MUST be turned in prior to June 30th. If the protest is submitted July 1st or after, it will not be considered.

The burden of proof is on the property owner

The statute states that no matter what level the protest is filed, the burden of proof is on the filer to show why the value does not reflect current market value. This can be accomplished by having comparable properties and proving that the valuations are not equalized. The Scotts Bluff County Board of Equalization have also allowed recent arm’s length sales and qualified appraisals to prove current market value.

Mass Appraisal

There are two types of appraisal; Fee and Mass appraisal. Most people are familiar with fee appraisal. That is where an appraiser will take a few sales, adjust the comparable properties and adjust for differences like year built or a garage. The appraiser is able to choose which sales they want to use, in whichever time frame they choose and can make any adjustment they want. Mass appraisal is used for ad valorem tax assessment. Mass appraisal is different in that the appraiser must use every sale within a certain time frame. They cannot make any adjustments to any properties. They also use sales that have occurred in the past as we follow the market, we do not set it.

How does Mass Appraisal work?

Data collectors go out into the field to collect all of the data characteristics of every single property. Sometimes limited data is collected if access to a building or property is restricted. They determine the year built, measure the structures and note all amenities. These amenities can include: basement, basement finish, garages, decks, yard sheds, fireplace, over height walls. Back in the office, the data collectors will research the size of the land that each parcel encompassed using available plat maps and maps from the Mapping Department. All of this information is entered into a CAMA (computer aided mass appraisal) system that helps price out the property. The system uses a valuation service called Marshall and Swift. Marshall and Swift is a nationally recognized valuation service that researches prices in the current market for each amenity of the property like the price of lumber, roofing materials, concrete or any other building material. This is called Replacement Cost New (RCN) and it determines the price of the structures as if it were built today. Marshall and Swift also have depreciation tables that allow the property to depreciate on factors like age, condition and quality. This is called Replacement Cost New Less Depreciation (RCNLD). This value is the starting point. Next, market areas are determined. A market area or neighborhood is not just a person’s block that they live on, it can encompass several blocks or areas and will be determined by looking at how houses sell in an area. Are all of the homes similar? Are they near a school or shopping area that affects the way the property would be sold? Statistics are researched in a two or three year sales period that shows whether that market area is going up in value, going down in value or if it is stable. If a neighborhood requires an adjustment based on those statistics, a change is made to all properties in that neighborhood, not just the ones that have sold.

How a level of value is established

The assessor’s office uses the median to determine a level of value but other statistics are used to ensure that the median is a meaningful number. Statistics such as the COD (coefficient of dispersion), PRD (price related differential) and weighted mean are used to make sure that the median didn’t just “get lucky” and fall into compliance. For residential properties, the median needs to be at 100% of market per statute. This is done using all sales that occurred within a two year period. Statute provides a range of 92% to 100% to be in compliance. For commercial, the median needs to be 100% with that same range but uses three years’ worth of sales. Agricultural land also uses three years’ worth of sales but the median needs to be at 75% with a range of 69% to 75%. Each year that the assessor sets values, two to three years of sales that occurred in the past were used. If something was currently happening in the market to potentially affect sales, it wouldn’t enter the sales data for at least a year to be considered.

Every year is a new year

The assessor must look at all three classes of land (Residential, Commercial and Agriculture) every year as of January 1st to reanalyze all data. If a change needs to happen in a neighborhood, it can happen in two different ways. A full reappraisal could have been performed where a data collector physically visited the property to make updates from the last physical visit. New depreciation tables would be established, and then statistics would be run on the entire neighborhood to correctly update the value of that market area. If an area cannot be physically inspected but the statistics are out of compliance, a percent adjustment is applied to the neighborhood to get it into compliance. It is applied consistently to every property in that market area and is typically applied to structures only as the land is set using a separate valuation. The only other way a property would have a valuation change is if a building permit adjusted the value or if Pictometry (aerial imagery) caught a change that needed adjusted.

What was changed in Scotts Bluff County for 2020?

Residential

In residential, no physical appraisals were done with the exception of building permits. There were two areas that were not in compliance and required percent adjustments. These areas include: Scottsbluff which received a 3% increase to structures and Terrytown which received a 7% increase to structures. Both adjustments brought those towns to just 92% which is the lowest percentage allowed to stay in compliance. By adjusting those two towns, all of residential is now in compliance at 92%

Commercial

In commercial, a physical appraisal was completed in 2017. The physical characteristic data was rolled from our working file to the administrative file to preserve that appraisal as the most up to date information. We have been able to stay in compliance by doing this. At the beginning of the year we were at 91%. By rolling the current data we are at 94% and in compliance.

Agricultural Land and Rural Residential

Link to view rural parcel's GIS information: Beacon
In Ag and Rural Residential there were some big changes for 2020. Last year, LB 372 (Erdman) was passed which amended Neb. Rev. Statute §77-1363 to require that Land Capability Groups (LCG) be based on Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) data specific to each land use. That bill became operative on August 31, 2019. Our prior LCG structure was defined using dry land capability only. This conversion was done utilizing the NRCS irrigated land class and subclass descriptions for irrigated land, dry land class and subclass for dryland, and rangeland productivity for grass. This changed agricultural land values without our office making any changes. For example, a soil type may have been considered 2G last year and is now 4G for 2020. Many of the grass capabilities went from 4G to Waste. For the first time in Scotts Bluff County the 1A and 1A1 capability has been used.
In October of 2019 our office started another round of matching our data to the GIS information provided by the mapping department. Some townships had updated GIS points that were used. We updated the soil type, acre count and land use to match what the mapping department provided. This means that acre count, soil type and use could have changed. For example, last year we may have had a farm that had 80 acres of 4G grass 5835 soil type land. For 2020 it was adjusted to GIS information and may now be 75 acres of 2A irrigated 8495 soil type land
Rural Residential was broken down as site codes. The values are broken down depending on how many acres are in each parcel. The first acre with the house on it is $13,000, the next four acres are $2,500 each, the next five acres are $850 each and any acre after that is $450 each. The acre count was matched to GIS information. For example a 5 acre tract last year could have been adjusted to 6 acres for 2020.
After all of these changes were made to the land, statistical research was completed and we found that overall our stats were out of compliance. We were at 78% for all Ag Land. Grass was at 56%, Irrigated was at 85% and there were not enough dry land sales to determine a level. Grass was increased and irrigated was decreased and it brought us to 72% and back into compliance.
All structures in Ag and Rural Residential underwent a full physical reappraisal. This means that a data collector visited each property to update our data, used the most current Marshall and Swift cost tables, established new depreciation tables and set values based on the physical characteristics and not percent adjustments. It has been almost 10 years since a new reappraisal has been completed in the rural area and will be difficult to compare last year’s valuation to the current valuation as last year’s valuation is the result of years of percent adjustment where this year’s value will reflect the most up to date market value.

 

Nothing has changed with my property for years, why did it change?

Just because you have not made any changes or updates on your property from prior years does not mean your value will not change. There are several other factors that affect valuation. Sales studies of buildings such as outbuildings may have caused new depreciation tables to be updated and cause changes in valuation. Marshall and Swift costs could have been updated which directly affects the replacement cost new (RCN). Sales coming in may indicate the market is increasing which affects all properties in a market area.

There are no sales in our area in this economy.

We receive deeds and transfers from the Register of Deeds office on almost a weekly basis. The last three months have averaged about 100 transfers per month. From what we have found, our economy here has stayed strong and values are coming in higher than our assessed values.

Your property is an investment

People put money into investments in the hope that their investment will appreciate in value. Properties are no different; this is why values are always changing. Most people do not understand the way the tax system works so they automatically associate a raise in value as a negative thing. Many protests are heard each year with the idea that they believe the value is where it should be, but they don’t want to pay any more in taxes. Believe it or not, we receive protest every year to RAISE values as well. Those properties owners are typically trying to sell or refinance and they want their investment to reflect the most current value.

You cannot protest taxes only valuation.

Many people are unaware of how their taxes are determined. They believe that the assessor’s office is in control of taxes. This is untrue. Our value is one piece of a formula that levying entities use to determine their tax asking. As a matter of fact, if the values go up and those levying entities do not ask for any more money than they did the year before, the taxes should go down. If the levy stays the same or goes up, that means the levying entity is asking for more money in the current year. For example, if a local school district needs $500,000 and the all of the value from our office in their school district adds up to $65,000,000 their levy would be .007692. ($500,000 divided by $65,000,000 is .007692). If your home was valued at $100,000 your tax bill for the school would be $769.20. (100,000 x .007692) If the following year the values raised in the school district to $70,000,000 but the school was still only asking for $500,000 the tax bill would be $714.30. ($500,000 divided by $70,000,000 is .0071430). This would be a $55 decrease in taxes even though values went up. The only way to protest your taxes is to go to the budget hearings in September of those levying entities increasing their budgets.

What are the levying entities in Scotts Bluff County?

Scotts Bluff County
School Districts such as Gering, Scottsbluff, Mitchell, Morrill, Minatare and Bayard
Cemetery Districts
Fire Districts
Towns such as Scottsbluff, Gering, Mitchell, Morrill, Henry, Lyman, Terrytown, Minatare, Melbeta and McGrew
Western Nebraska Community College
Sanitary Improvement Districts
Parking Districts
Drainage Districts
ESU 13
Airport

Downloadable Forms

Additional Links

Updated: 2016.03.24