Property owners continue to seek talks in dispute over CREP farmland valuations

Chase County Commissioners are continuing to field concerns over the value of Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program land in the county.
    Duane Dinnel and John Maddux attended the Jan. 8 and 22 Chase County Commissioners’ and Board of Equalization meetings to ask commissioners Jacci Brown, Dennis Kunnemann and Chuck Vette to consider negotiating the recent Tax Equalization and Review Commission CREP ruling for 2017 and 2018 CREP values.
    Dinnel has butted heads with Chase County Assessor Dotty Bartels and members of the BOE since 2015 over CREP valuations leading to several TERC cases.
    Brown and Kunnemann have taken seats on the board since BOE protests were heard in July 2018, prompting Dinnel and Maddux to ask for a second look.
    Dinnel said there are “serious issues” with TERC’s December decision on the 2017 protests that need to be addressed and it has been appealed to the Court of Appeals.
    He believes it will save everybody time and money to negotiate, to the point that Dinnel and Maddux proposed on Jan. 22 to drop the recently filed appeal of TERC’s 2017 decision if the county would “correct the acreages and classifications” on two sales based on Farm Service Agency and Natural Resource District offices records from when the sales occurred.
    “The county has spent a lot of money since 2014 on these appeals and it just continues year after year,” Dinnel said.  Time is an issue, he added, with 2018 protests to be heard by TERC at some point. If the county agrees to settle the 2017 appeal with corrected sales information, Dinnel asked that the 2018 valuations be corrected accordingly.
    “What we’re asking is a pretty modest request,” Maddux said, “We just want to present our case. I think in the spirit of open government and handling our problems as close as we can on a local basis, I think it’s a pretty modest proposal that we at least make our presentation and you can make you decision however you want.”


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