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Dave Olson, Published September 15 2012

Oxbow gets tax break due to diversion limbo

FARGO – Oxbow residents will get a property tax break next year over the objection of Cass County officials.

Earlier this year, the community of Oxbow asked the county to reduce property valuations by 50 percent, maintaining that uncertainty over a proposed diversion project was detrimental to home values.

County officials, while stating they were sympathetic to issues Oxbow was facing, turned down the request.

Oxbow Mayor James Nyhof then sent a letter to the North Dakota State Board of Equalization asking that the county’s decision be overturned.

The state has now ruled that property values should be reduced by 20 percent, thereby providing property owners in town with a tax break.

Cass County officials say they don’t plan to challenge the decision, which will result in a loss of revenue for the Kindred School District of about $53,000.

Cass County will be out almost $19,000, while Oxbow will lose about $10,000 and the Oxbow Park District about $2,000.

As a result, Nyhof has asked the Flood Diversion Authority to provide the Kindred School District with the amount it will lose from tax revenues.

The Flood Diversion Authority has not yet answered the request and is expected to take it up at its next meeting Oct. 11.

Phone messages left for Nyhof seeking comment weren’t returned.

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555