After a Grand Forks man living in a south-end neighborhood complained the city was about to overvalue his property with a 24 percent increase, assessors remeasured the next day and found they had been off by about 256 feet.
Christopher Boe, who lives on Vineyard Drive, on Monday requested the Grand Forks Board of Equalization return his property value to its 2018 level with the yearly citywide increase because they had the wrong square footage. Instead, the city will increase his property value by about 18 percent, according to Grand Forks City Assessor Paul Houdek. With a 24 percent increase, Boe's property would've been appraised at $1.04 million. The city's new appraisal pins the value at roughly $989,000.
Houdek said Boe's property increase is an effort to correct an error his department made in 2011, when the city gave Boe's property the wrong grade on interior and exterior quality. The 2019 inspection was the city's first reappraisal of Boe's home since then.
City Council members on Monday ultimately sided with the city assessor's original value and voted 6-1 to shoot down Boe's request, with council member Danny Weigel opposed.
"If the city messed up with how it (appraised) this house in the past, then in my opinion it wasn't the right thing to do, to write somebody a 24 percent (increase) in one year," Weigel said on Tuesday.
The council will not vote on Boe's new appraisal-rather, the County Board of Equalization will consider it during its June 4 meeting.
After receiving his new square footage, Boe said he is unsure if he would appeal the new $989,000 appraisal to the county.
"I'm not sure what to think at this point," said Boe. "I do appreciate the fact that they (the city) were willing to look at their mistake, and correct their mistake. But I do feel that if we could change the valuation just a bit it would be more in line with what the true value of the house is."
Boe also said the city's attention to his home, which is roughly 10 years old, felt "targeted" compared to older neighborhoods where some homes are 40 to 50 years old.
"They clearly picked an area that they felt they wanted to get more money out of," Boe said.
"Reappraisal is an annual process for us," he said of his department. "We reappraise neighborhoods every year. Some values go up, some values go down, and some values stay about the same. That is the general process, and that's exactly what we saw when we went."
According to Houdek, the appraisal process consists of sending letters to property owners, informing them the city plans to study their properties again this year.
"We're talking about asking for an interior inspection, doing an exterior inspection, leaving notes on the door that we've been there and we would like to get in, and actually doing a reappraisal of each property in the neighborhood," Houdek said.
Boe received a letter of his increase on March 8, he said.
"Seemed like it was way too much to raise it to that level," Boe said. "It's unfortunate that I have to be the one to lobby on my behalf to get a fair assessment of myself."