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Press Photo by Ashley Martin Diane Brines, Stark County tax equalization director, speaks at a County Commission meeting Tuesday morning in Dickinson.

Gladstone property values jump 37 percent

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Taylor residents are off the hook for now, but Gladstone residents can expect a major increase in their property taxes since property values there have increased 37 percent.

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The Stark County Commission met as the board of equalization and approved the increases.

Diane Brines, Stark County tax equalization director, said the drastic increase is similar to what other area residents have experienced in recent years.

The county fell behind on revaluating homes, so officials have been working over the past two years to bring everybody up to speed, which causes a spike in property value assessments, she said.

"Last year we did South Heart and Richardton, and this year it was Belfield and Gladstone," Brines said. "Next year we will complete Taylor and we will have the residential redone in the small cities."

The revaluation process will cause a similar spike in 2010 property taxes, depending on the county's budget and each resident's property, Brines said.

Kurtis Martin, Gladstone mayor, said the increase was discussed at a meeting in Gladstone that all residents were invited to attend.

"Everybody gets a little upset, but nobody was really overly upset," Martin said. "I felt the people took it OK. Nobody likes taxes, but if you're going to have streets, if you're going to have improvements, you're going to have to do something."

Brines, who was at the Gladstone meeting to answer questions, agreed.

"I think all of our tax payers were well-informed of the revaluations taking place throughout the county two years ago, so they knew it was a matter of time for them," Brines said. "They seemed well-versed on it and stuff and understood."

Martin said he is content with where taxes will be.

"They're going to be increased, but in a comparison, I feel we're still getting more bang for our buck," Martin said. "We've got a nice, quiet community."

Gwen Lantz, Gladstone city auditor, agreed.

"It's good for the city, I guess, because it'll generate more revenue," Lantz said.

Brines is unsure when the last time a full revaluation was done in Gladstone. However, Belfield, where property values increased by about 23 percent, was last revaluated nearly 30 years ago, Brines said.

In other matters:

- The commission is considering building a $530,000 facility for a Stark County Weed Board office and cold storage.

- Stark County residents complained about the condition of some country roads and commissioners said they would work on improving them.

- Commissioners approved new specifications for residents who want to improve undeveloped or previously unmaintained roads.

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