Property Land Values & Tax Increases Worry Farmer

By  | 

EAGLE, Neb.-- In one year, Alfred Schroder saw his property's value increase by more than $30,000.

Now, his property taxes are skyrocketing while the price of corn is dropping, raising concerns that soon many farmers like him may be forced to sell their lands.

"Putting us out of business is what they're doing," Schroder said.

Schroder has owned nearly 80 acres of land south of Eagle, Neb., since the early 1960's. In the last 20 years, his property taxes have risen from about $2,800 to about $4,600.

"What are you going to protest," Schroder asked.

"You can protest it's too high, but, they got all the figures here what the price of ground is. So, you can't protest nothing."

He said the only warning that the value of his land was going to go up was two yellow slips of paper in the mail, showing a $30,000 increase from 2013 to 2014.

With $11,000 in expenses in 2013, a profit of $17,000 and rising property taxes, Schroder said it's going to be tough to sustain profitability.

And, he's not alone. The Hall County assessor had to raise ag land value by 40 percent this year, increasing the value of one acre of primarily irrigated land from $3,535 to $5,090.

The price of corn is also down this year for Schroder by around $3.

"People are going to have to sell their grounds, you know," Schroder said.

"The ground is worth more than you can farm out of it anyhow."

Steve Nelson, the president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau, said the overall profitability of agriculture in Nebraska is a concern.

He also urges people to raise their concerns and ask questions, in an effort to change the system.