- Associated Press - Sunday, July 3, 2016

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) - Hall County governments and schools will be forced to make due with $165,000 less tax revenue than expected this year because the assessor used inflated estimates for some business properties.

The Grand Island Independent reports (https://bit.ly/29f0VHo ) that Hall County Assessor Jan Pelland apologized after she realized the error would reduce the amount of tax money collected.

Pelland said her staff used estimates for the value of property that owners hadn’t filed returns on. That practice is common, but some of the estimates used this year were outrageously inflated.

Pelland said she told her staff to put a fictitious value on the property high enough to get business owners’ attention. One of those values was roughly 1,000 times the actual value, but many went uncorrected when notices were mailed out.

That meant the incorrect values were used in calculating the tax levies for all the government entities in Hall County.

But when tax bills went out, six businesses appealed and the values were correctly lowered. The value of those businesses’ personal property fell from $5.5 million to about $220,000.

So the Grand Island school district will receive $95,665 less than expected. Hall County will have a $29,639 shortfall, and Grand Island will receive $24,249 less than expected.

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Information from: The Grand Island Independent, https://www.theindependent.com

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