Residential property value drop lowers some homeowner’s tax bills

           Although it’s not much, some homeowners in Stillwater will see lower property tax bills for 2013.

Stillwater City Administrator Larry Hansen said the reduction is due to lower residential property values in the city, with most values dropping by 9.7 percent.

The property value drop means a homeowner who purchased their home at the median value of $213,400 has a home now valued at $192,700. Last year that homeowner would have paid $1,068 in city property tax. This year, they will pay $1,054, a savings of $14.

Those who paid more for their homes will have to pay more. Homes sold at $443,000 dropped in value to about $400,000 and according to Hansen, they will pay about $12 more than last year’s taxes.

“This is good news for homeowners but not for industrial property or apartments,” he said.

The city’s total property tax bill in 2013 is about $11,515,000, an increase over the 2012 figure of $11,333,636.

“The operating levy continues to steadily increase and a lot of that reason is that because local government aid has decreased and has become unreliable.” Hansen said.

Property tax money will dispersed in the following percentages: 37 percent to public safety, 27 percent in funding for library and recreation centers, 25 percent to general government funding and 11 percent to public works.