Local valuation soars to $183 million in 2012
President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney might learn something about job creation from Gothenburg.
Because the development of jobs is what is keeping the community growing, according to Gothenburg Improvement Company president Mike Bacon.
A 16.9% jump in valuation, from $157,316,724 last year to current property values of $183,889,635, shows that business in expanding in Gothenburg.
Of the $26,572,911 increase, Frito-Lay contributed $12,483,104 in assessed value to the local tax base when the grain-handling facility began paying taxes for improvements this year.
Tax-increment financing helped support Frito-Lay by allowing the tax revenue generated by the property improvements to help pay for its development.
Dawson County assessor John Moore said improvements at All Points Cooperative also had a hand in the jump plus the fact that property values in Gothenburg increased in 2012.
The sizeable increase in valuation, Bacon said, is the result of years of hard work and commitment by a many people.
“We are beginning to see the results of this,” he said.
For Bacon, job creation is the most rewarding result of the growth in local valuation.
What that means, he said, is that young families have a future in Gothenburg.
“At community gatherings, I see more and more young couples,” Bacon said.
Through frequent travel across the state, he said he’s noticed that young people moving to or returning to a community is not the case in most cities the size of Gothenburg.
“Other towns struggle to keep their schools open and there are no jobs for our kids to come back to,” he said.
Bacon said higher valuation doesn’t necessarily mean elevated taxes and offered this explanation:
“Higher valuation is based on business building new projects and means our taxes should be spread over a wider base,” he said. “We may not see a decrease in taxes but they will not go up as fast as they would have if the added valuation wasn’t there.”
Bacon pointed out that perhaps it’s better to build valuation since state aid can be taken away at any time.
Moore said increased valuations are a reflection of the health of a city or county’s economy.
He did note that if levies don’t change or decrease, many people pay higher property taxes.
Bacon described the city council as forward looking and supportive.
“If you do not move forward, you are most certainly moving backward,” Bacon said.
An example of the city’s progressiveness in growing the community began with the recruitment of Baldwin Filters 22 years ago.
Gothenburg’s real estate base in 1990 was approximately $39,000,000 without personal property valuation.
Moore said personal property figures are not available from that time.
Fast forward to 2012 and valuation is nearly $184 million, a substantial portion which includes real estate.
“We are blessed to live in a wonderful community,” Bacon said.
Both District 20 superintendent Dr. Mike Teahon and city administrator Bruce Clymer said the valuation jump is the result of the benefits of economic development and helps spreads the tax load.