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Letter: Letter last week hit a nerve

To the editor,

In response to Joyce Nicolai’s March 6 letter, I think her letter really hit a nerve when she hit on the fact of the park land being taken out of the tax base.

No wonder when I look at the real estate tax statements that came in the mail on March 7, 2014, that some of the statements reflect over a 53 percent increase from just the first of the year before. But to make it worse, some exceeded 50 percent from the year before that as well. Some went up only by 10 percent and the rest all over in between there someplace.

I would think the assessors ,or whoever had been involved in trying to equalize the value of all farm land according to what it should produce for the last hundred years or more, would notice the huge increases in the last several years are questionable in the way they vary.

I understand farm land values have gone up in recent years, but does that mean the county has to waste the extra revenue that it projects has to be spent? Why not lower the mill rate?

If a farmer is farming to make a living, raising his real estate taxes doesn’t help his bottom line. I look at it like a tax burden that comes out of what I lost or earned out of the land. The tax has to be paid either way. I can’t imagine that if the county got by a few years with so much, now they need this much more! Isn’t there a limit to what they need?

Looks to me that when land values go down, then they will raise the mill rate as an incentive to have what they call enough. In other words, it is taxing my job more and more no matter if I get a crop or don’t get a crop.

Besides, if I am not selling my land, what good does the increase in land values do me? I look at it as a disaster to me or to my sons who are farming with me, and likewise to all farmers. It will only add additional taxes, whether it be real estate taxes, inheritance or gift tax. Looks to me like we could end up losing the land through all the taxes, or buying it for two or three times more. My father was on the township board for years in the 1930s and 40s. At that time they tried to get it as close as possible to the actual production capabilities of each parcel. What happened to that? No one has changed the capabilities of the land. And as far as I know, no one has done any further studies to clarify if changes need to be made.