By Forrest Hershberger
Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

County, Bass Pro/Cabela's Advance Tax Appeals


November 6, 2019

Some of the objections filed by Bass Pro/Cabela's were addressed but several need a higher court.

The Cheyenne County commissioners were updated Monday on a list of objections filed by the Bass Pro/Cabela's corporation regarding real estate valuations in Cheyenne County.

County Attorney Paul Schaub, speaking for County Assessor Mel Keller and the county appraisers involved in the process, said properties including the tract of land near the retail center in Sidney with the gazebo and pond have been corrected, and the company is withdrawing 10 other appeals. He said one of the locations the county and the company could not reach an agreement on is the corporate buildings.

“It is our recommendation that we proceed with the remaining cases,” Schaub said.

The next step, according to Schaub, is a TERC hearing. TERC is the Nebraska Tax Equalization and Review Commission. It is an appeals process when a county and landowner cannot reach an agreement on valuations. Hearings involving Cheyenne County and Cabela's and Bass Pro entities are scheduled to begin Nov. 12 in Lincoln.

TERC is a constitutional body created by the Legislature in 1996 as a simple, less expensive method of appeal for property owners to challenge the assessment of property in the state, according to the TERC website.

The commissioners also met with Schaub in executive session to discuss duties of the county surveyor. Following a 30-minute executive session, the board returned to public session to approve an addendum to the surveyor's contract calling for pre-approval of duties of the surveyor. Commissioner Randy Miller said there had been some discrepancy regarding the duties of the county surveyor.

Soon after returning to public session, Sheriff Adam Frerichs met with the commissioners regarding a Worker's Compensation claim, and the board went into executive session with Frerichs. Upon again returning to open meeting, commissioners directed Schaub to visit with Workers Compensation representatives.

Vern Nelson met with the commissioners and Highway Superintendent Doug Hart regarding road conditions near Potter. He started by saying he appreciates what the commissioners do, admitting is is probably a thankless job at times. He asked if he as a resident can talk with machine operators when they are working the roads in his area. He was encouraged by the commissioners to talk with Hart about any concerns or suggestions on road conditions.

The board and Nelson exchanged viewpoints on how to maintain roads and what roads need the most attention and why. Nelson and Commissioner Phil Sanders disagreed on the condition of US Air Force maintained roads. Nelson suggested maybe there are new maintainer operators who are “not up to speed” on maintaining the road in question.

Sanders said part of the issue is roads are best maintained with a minimal amount of moisture, and the roads have been dry. He added county hasn't had many complaints recently.

“We do get complaints, but we haven't for a long time,” he said.

After the discussion with Nelson, the board received an update from Hart on the road and highway department. He said he has workers out mowing.

“We're a lot further ahead than last year,” he said.

He said he is working on a bridge grant, and his department is getting snow fences ready for winter.


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