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Published April 23, 2013, 09:43 AM

Property values climbing in Williston

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — Property values continue to rise in the North Dakota oil patch hub of Williston.

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — Property values continue to rise in the North Dakota oil patch hub of Williston.

Assessment numbers sent to property owners in the past week show residential property values are up 15 percent to 35 percent over the year, while commercial property values are up as much as 10 percent, according to the Williston Herald. The increases follow over-the-year rises in 2012 of about 20 percent for residential property and 60 percent to 80 percent for commercial property.

"We're still seeing a lot of sales and properties selling for way more than we have them assessed for," said Tax and Equalization Director Shawna Gooch-Egge.

Catherine Webb, who has lived in Williston with her husband since the 1950s when he moved to North Dakota to work as a geologist in the oilfield, said they were shocked to see their assessment.

The family bought their Williston home for $13,000 in 1962, which adjusted to today's dollars equates to about $100,200, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. The assessed value of the house is inching toward double what they first paid, at $176,000 today, according to the new assessment.

"It was like, 'Oh my word,'" Webb said. "What's that going to do to my property taxes?"

Gooch-Egge said an increase in property values does not automatically mean taxes will be higher for property owners, with tax decisions made by the city commission.

"They're two separate issues," she said. Assessments don't "determine that final tax dollar that you pay."

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