June 6, 2011 at 7:00 pm in INFORUM
OXBOW, N.D. Residents facing possible future buyouts here as a result of a Red River diversion want Cass County to give the city an 80 percent property tax break. Continue Reading
Tags: Flood, Government, Oxbow 73 Comments »
Who wouldn’t like an 80% tax cut! I personally doubt this diversion will have one spade full of dirt turned in my life. I can’t see Fargo giving an 80% break to those in the city who might lose their home in the event of a catastrophic flood.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 80 14
Hereâ€™s a little information one might consider when evaluating the validity of Oxbow residentâ€™s efforts to derail the diversion project and obtain special consideration for themselves.
Land area: 0.41 square miles.
Oxbow compared to North Dakota state average:
Median household income significantly above state average.
Median house value above state average.
Unemployed percentage significantly below state average.
Black race population percentage significantly below state average.
Hispanic race population percentage significantly below state average.
Foreign-born population percentage significantly below state average.
Renting percentage significantly below state average.
Number of rooms per house above state average.
Number of college students below state average.
Percentage of population with a bachelor’s degree or higher significantly above state average.
Estimated median household income in 2009: 133,151
Mean prices of all housing units in 2009: $305,718
Jan. 2011 cost of living index in Oxbow: 89.1 (U.S. average is 100)
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 69 24
A home is an investment and with investments, come risks. Those that were in California during the 1980′s saw astronomical increases in their home values, from circumstances that were primarily out of their control. In recent years, folks in places like Florida, California and Arizona have seen real estate plummet- again from circumstances primarily out of their control. So, if you build by a river or lake, it might look nice and inviting. But don’t ask others to bail you out (the tax burden remains- that 80% reduction has to made up somewhere), if that investment crumbles due to unforeseen circumstances.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 70 18
The unforeseen circumstances being a 10 year multibillion dollar project done with the knowledge that if it is ever used would cause their property to be under an additional 5-8 feet of water?
Hot debate. What do you think? 41 34
Farmers in the Devils Lake Basin would like to quit paying their bank and taxes for land that is under water also, but I don’t see that happening any time soon either considering that it has been going on since the lake started to rise.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 67 3
They have received tax breaks though on that land that is flooded, in order to keep ownership of that land in case it ever does dry up…
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 26 10
What is your point? If the averages you noted were flipped, would Oxbow be right to ask for a tax break? Would we then be correct in feeling empathy for those residents? The conclusion one reaches from your post is that non-minorities making above agerage wages, living in larger-than-average homes deserve what they when things go bad for them. It appears to be race-baiting and class envy and it has no place in this discussion.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 54 25
Haha, race baiting in the land of perpetual whiteness. That gets my vote for laugh inducing comment of the day.
Hot debate. What do you think? 24 33
I moved back to the local area in 2008 after being gone for over 20 years. We made an offer on a house in Oakport for $10K less than asking thinking if he came down $4-5K we’d go up the same. The guys said he was insulted by our offer and refused to come down 1 cent. I saw this spring he had the same house listed for $1K less than what I originally offered back in 2008. Morale of the story….land near rivers which are flood prone depreciates quickly. Lesson in morallity…tax payers who didn’t purchase land near flood prone rivers should not be financially responsible for those who did.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 123 12
So… um… you live where exactly? There are few homes in the local area that are not “near flood prone rivers”
Not saying their ridiculous desires for an 80% tax reduction are valid, but darn near everyone who lives in the RRV lives on flood-prone land.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 46 21
Agreed…but someone who lives east of Highway 75 or west of 29 is at a far less risk than someone who lives on Rivershore Dr, Oakport or Oxbow. There is risk in everything. If I felt my home was at significant risk I would buy flood insurance. If it flooded I would not expect taxpayers to bail me out. Anyone who bought a house or stayed in their house in these areas after 1997 knew the risk. It’s not right for us to have to pay for residents in Florida to buy out their homes after a hurricane, or California after an earthquake. And it’s not right for them to pay to buy out homes in the RRV because of floods.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 59 3
Let us remember this is not about “bailing” residents out. Most of Oxbow never has even flooded, meaning no dike or sandbags were ever needed. Most of Fargo would be under before this area. Fargo/Cass County has put them in this situation. This was forced on them & yes, they should be responsible to pay mitigation on a man-made flood. Fargo/Cass county is personally responsible for the plummeting property values
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 52 36
Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.
So you propose that everyone east of 29 should have abandoned their homes? The problem is that a significant part of the FM area was developed based on incorrect forecasting. It happens. A diversion is necessary because the cost of such a diversion is far less than the cost of moving everyone that is at risk of flooding. Unfortunately, some other smaller neighborhoods see adverse affects from the diversion. There’s really no way around it.
And FYI, flood insurance or not, it’s a taxpayer bailout. There’s a reason no insurance company offers flood insurance (all flood insurance is sourced to the government).
And I agree with you entirely if a home is simply at risk of flooding. Where buyouts are necessary, however, are where the city/country/state/federal governments determine a need to implement some measure that requires removing the homes (e.g. flood walls, dikes, diversions, etc that protect a far larger area). I don’t believe we should buy out homes simply because they flood. IF we need to put a dike through the location of a house or create an at-risk situation as is potentially the case with Oxbow then, yes, a buyout is necessary.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 17 34
Let me re-read what I wrote…nope never said or even implied I favored everyone east of I29 should abandon their homes. Nice bait and switch though. I’ll remind you…there is NO approved plan. Fargo & Cass County have raised their taxes to pay for a permanent flood protection plan which does not exist. Oxbow is asking for a 80% tax break based on a permanent flood solution which does not exist. There is no approved plan and I’ll put down a $100 spot there won’t be one 10 years from now.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 40 2
Hot debate. What do you think? 28 14
I’m not so sure about the 80%, that sounds a bit much, because buyouts would be higher than that, but they are fundamentally correct.
There is no doubt that home values have gone down there, and in ND, the starting point of real estate taxes is the true and full value which is what it would bring on the open market after a reasonable time.
I don’t understand why the concern over the Kindred school district, that should not be a consideration on valuation. Besides, if the town is gone, that too would have a rather severe effect on the Kindred school district.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 36 6
One of the arguments against the diversion Oxbow has been making is how detrimental it will be to the Kindred School District if they are bought out and cease to exist.
An 80% reduction in property values for tax purposes pretty much ends up being the same thing.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 51 2
It is always fun to listen to people tell other people how to behave, respond, react, etc. I live in Oxbow and I am pretty confident that my home is 1) protected at a higher level than most homes in Fargo and 2) no closer to a river than most homes in Fargo. The problem is, my home protected higher than most, can’t withstand another 5-8 feet of water. How do you think the City of Fargo would do trying to protect itself from another 5-8 feet? Oh yeah, let me remind everyone that this additional 5-8 feet of water is not natural flooding but man made! So let me ask those of you that like to tell others how to act, respond and behave…How would you act, respond and behave if someone told you that your current home that is as safe from flooding now as everyone else (if not more) is going to be a lake so now your home is worth $0…but…we really don’t know how we are going to handle this and/if it will ever happen so there is a chance you might live in limbo for 10+ years in a home that is worth $0 and has no chance of selling. Everyone OK with that? I’m all for permanent flood protection, but the only feeling that I have had since this whole diversion talk came up was one of “let’s hurry up and rush this through now and deal with the logistics later.” Well, I’m sorry if I am a little worried about this as I’m not comfortable being part of the “logistics”. Would you?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 70 43
But that is what you voted for so you need to live with it – and let me ask you a question. When your home gets bought out and you will be paid mroe than taxable value, will you then pay back your portion of property taxes that were forgiven or do you think you are entitled to not have to pay your fair share for all those years you are in limbo? You know as well as I do that you will be compensated fairly, so why shouldn’t you have to pay?
Hot debate. What do you think? 47 33
You are right, I did vote for flood protection. I can also live with the fact that the proposed plan was probably hidden and not shared until after the vote…which makes me wonder how the vote would go now if they had to do it over again. That being said, your comment about my buy out is where I have the problem. No one has confirmed to me what that buy out is, when it is coming, if it is coming, how much it will be, etc….but somehow you know this?
Hot debate. What do you think? 38 35
I don’t see anything wrong with their request to reduce their property taxes. Property taxes are based on the value of the home. The county is making a decision (diversion) which will significantly reduce their property value. As such, they should see a similar reduction in property taxes. Its not Oxbow’s fault that their homes will be worthless once the diversion and retention pools are in place.
This is where the rubber meets the road. Building the diversion is not a simple and digging a long ditch. The diversion will affect property values. Which in turn affects property taxes. Which in turn affects a school district’s income base.
Hot debate. What do you think? 44 33
Once the diversion is finalized, then sure. But, of course, their homes would be bought out at that point so their argument is moot.
Hot debate. What do you think? 32 25
What an absolute joke!!!!!! Another case of rich snobs trying to push their weight around. Here’s how things will be: if the diversion does happen, then they will be bought out at the appraised value of the home. If the diversion changes, then their homes will have lost no value. So, either way, their house is still worth what it was before the diversion talks. Honestly, any current drop in their home price is because they were dumb enough to build/move into a low-lying flood-prone area. What a bunch of egotistical morons!
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 38 59
Low lying flood prone area? You must be talking about the Red River Valley.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 51 11
Gotta love the class envy. So, Hello, do you know any othe Oxbow residents? What is the basis of your ‘Rich snobs’ comment? (not that it is relevant to this discussion, but I know a few residents in that community and none are ‘rich snobs’).
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 43 26
You do realize this area is higher than most of Fargo & you’re calling these people dumb? What a comment! Do you see all the homes Fargo has allowed its residents to build on the river? And now they want everyone in the southern, western, & northern Red River Valley to sacrifice their homes for the sake of their decisions? I think your last sentence in your comment about covers it.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 43 10
I have no sympathy or empathy for the Oxbow residents who blindly followed the words of the lying politicians Vanyo and Walaker and overwhelmingly voted Yes for the increase in sales tax because they thought they were safe and others would be flooded. After the vote passed (which I still believe Walaker and Vanyo knew the route all along well before the vote but kept it quiet so the tax increase would pass) now they are crying foul and whining. Its that NIMBY, ME, ME, ME attitude of the Oxbow residents who thought only of themselves when they voted that makes me laugh and think of all of them as hypocrits.
I say NO to the decrease in property taxes because when their houses are bought out (as we have seen in the past) they will be paid more than the current taxable value so they are really no losing anything – plus they won’t have to pay taxes on the gain on the sale of their home. I say NO to the tax decrease – they need to pay their fair share just like the rest of us!! I for one am tired of their whining – in life with choices come consequences, they chose to blindly follow the lying politicians and only cared about protecting themselves and to heck with flooding others, now they have to live with the consequences of their choice to vote “yes”!! Stop the whining!
Hot debate. What do you think? 42 33
“Stop the whining” from someone who is probably going to be fully protected from this diversion and as of right now is not paying any more for this project than anyone else in the area.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 19 41
But I’m not asking to have my property taxes reduced, so who is doing the whining? I am willing to pay my fair share – doesn’t matter if I’m protected or not.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 37 9
Hey Tim, what about the residents of Richland County who are going to have their lives destroyed at the hands of Vanyo, Walaker and Mahoney? We had absolutely no say in this vote, we will face the same destruction as Oxbow, and do you think we’re going to get any offers of buyouts from Cass County? Not on your life. Our lives are forefeit, as will be our Richland 44 school district. Way to go, Cass County.
Like or Dislike: 13 6
Not the county’s responsibility to cover their loss. They decided to move there, and there were no assurances that the price of their home would go up or down at the time. They would get bought out if they went along with the plan but they seem to want the best of all worlds – you cannot have it all. Maybe if they jumped on board and didn’t raise such a stink the project could continue and they could sell out sonner Regardless of what any stealator, mortgage lender/banker or anyone says a house is not an investment – it simply holds your equity and is a place to live.
Hot debate. What do you think? 36 22
Can’t have the best of both worlds?? REALLY?? Let’s see, kinda like Fargo not having to give up any land to build this diversion and not having to pay any more than anyone else in this area to build this project?? Sounds like Fargo has the best of both worlds.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 48 29
Agreed, Fargo want it all at the cost to everyone else. Fargo is only your neighbor and friend when you come to town and buy products and pay their sales taxes but after you have spent your money they don’t care if they flood you out, they are only in it for them and with an arrogant bully like Walaker running the city, no wonder people have a negative impression on how Fargo forces their will on everyone else.
Hot debate. What do you think? 46 34
Exactly what percent of the total tax revenue going towards flood protection is payed by the 100,000+ residents of the City of Fargo? West Fargo? Frontier? Prairie Rose? Etc.?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 24 9
H said, “No one has confirmed to me what that buy out is, when it is coming, if it is coming, how much it will be, etcâ€¦.but somehow you know this?”
I am basing this on the fact that buyouts have been discussed and have already been proposed in other areas that is what I am basing my comments on. Not sure when but you know as well as I do that it will happen and you will be paid a fair price and now you and your community want more?
The bigger question is why didn’t you answer my question about wanting reduced property taxes until you are bought out for at least the taxable value and then you will pocket the money and shift your share of the burden about living in the area on other taxpayers. Why do you think this is fair? Will you payback the reduced amount? I’m sure everyone wishes they could have their taxes reduced and shift their burden to others but that isn’t how it works.
And what if it never comes to a buyout and you stay in your house, then you will not have paid your fair share like many in your area are wanting via this property tax reduction request, how is that fair to the rest of us? It appears Oxbow wants others to pay for them by this ridiculous request. Won’t you still be utilizing the same county/city/school district resources but at a reduced cost to you and an added cost to others?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 24 7
To answer your first question, if for some reason my property taxes were reduced now…and a buy out came later…then of course there should be an off set in this buy out price if the buy out price was based on assessed values prior to diversion plan talks.
I don’t think anyone is asking to be treated different or shift the burden, what people are asking for is some sort of plan rather than being told “don’t worry, you will be taken care of and be happy.”
On another note, I have a sneeking suspicion that if this diversion plan ever goes through (personally I don’t think it will) the actual cost to everyone is going to be mind blowing…and everyone sitting here telling people on the outside to “shut up and take it” are going to be looking at some hefty increases in taxes and assessments of their own. Then, at that time, they will be able to shift their animosity towards someone else and point fingers again…now, they will be justified in their own mind because now, it will be affecting them personally and because of this it will now be wrong.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 34 13
Thanks for the reply but I disagree that Oxbow is not asking to be treated different or shift the burden, what people are asking for is some sort of plan rather than being told â€œdonâ€™t worry, you will be taken care of and be happy.â€
If they didn’t want to be treated differently then the request for the 80% tax reduction would never have been on the table. I agree a plan for those residents is what is needed but it appears the first issue with those making the request is to shift their burden to others. I hope the county commission has some kahoonas and says NO to this request.
Hot debate. What do you think? 17 15
I think the request to reduce the property taxes is because they are being told by financial institutions, realtors, etc. that their property is worth zero…yet they are paying taxes based on the previous assessed values. If the property is now worth something different, shouldn’t the tax due on them be different? It is no different than when it goes the other way and a property assessed value is increased…taxes go up. Again, I think the only way it should be reduced (and by all means I don’t know what amount that reduction would be) if there is a plan in place that states this reduction savings would come out against future buy out amounts (i.e. save $10,000 over 10 years in taxes…buy out comes in 10 years less $10,000).
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 28 11
Fargo is by no means a “friend” in this project. Oxbow brings up a good point in decreasing their property taxes. I live in Bakke, and would like to see the same thing. We were all misled on the sales tax vote, Oxbow and Bakke are on some of the highest land in the county and don’t have the flood-prone issues of Fargo. Our houses here have no value, and nobody is coming forward to even tell us what a value would be for a buyout. Things would not be so negative if we could just get a truthful number of what a value may be, instead of a runaround from the Corp and the City of Fargo. Nobody seems to know. As far as building where we did, house and property values were not affected by any flood issues. The ones who would be protected by this diversion better watch out. A couple half-cent sales taxes are nothing compared to what the specials will be for whomever benefits from this diversion. The Fargo leaders aren’t worried about any blowback from that because of their arrogance, and they feel their residents would be paying anyways for flood insurance. With the cost of this project consistently on the rise, the dollars Fargo residents will be paying will be tough to swallow. Let’s see how “fair” it is then.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 38 14
Since Oxbow is one of the leading voices against flood protection for the largest city in the state and a provider of all things these and others need I suggest their taxes be raised 80%.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 22 37
I live in Oxbow and have many friends in Hickson, Bakke, Comstock and Oxbow. Do any of you calling us “rich snobs” and telling us to just “take it” have any idea of how we feel? I know that some of you care but some of you that post on here seem to think that because some of us may have nice homes or make a good living we should just drown. We are stressed, sad, upset, overwhelmed and angry. I personally lose sleep and worry about what I am going to do and where I am going to go. I like living out of town a bit and enjoying the wide open spaces. I do not want to live “in town”, I chose to live here. I love my neighbors as if they are family. It is not just the loss of our home, it is the loss of our community. Can those of you that are slamming us imagine truly loving your neighbors and where you live and being told that you can’t be there anymore? How would you like to be kicked out of your home that you have worked hard to obtain? I think instead of throwing insults at us some of you should sit back and ask yourself what your reaction would be if this was happening to you? Some of you bring up the buyouts, when? Do we start shopping for a new home or is this going to take ten years? Is it now? Later? We are all at a loss of what we should or can do. Please have some respect/empathy, we are hurting and scared.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 52 15
So then if you don’t know when, why are residents of Oxbow asking for a tax reduction now? I understand you being scared and not sure where to turn next, but do you think that should give you a pass on paying property taxes and putting the burden on others? Perhaps in your zeal to save your community with a “yes” vote on the sales tax you overlooked the obvious and now you reap what you sow.
There were many of us who opposed the tax but right after the vote, the mayor of Oxbow was on the news and high fiving himself on the community support of the tax increase because they thought it was going to save them – how can we have empathy when too many Oxbow residents were willing to do to others what is happening to them now? Its that ME, ME, ME attitude that I find disturbing – for me its not about class warfare or rich now envy with me, its about lack of compassion for others when you thought only about protecting yourself in your vote. Oxbow was ready to pass their problems onto others with no concern about how they feel, but now we are suppose to have sympathy for you? Seems quite hypocritical to me.
Why do you think you are worthy of a tax decrease?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 33 18
Tom – I know it stinks to be in your situation. I do, however, have very little sympathy. You are certainly in a tough spot, but it is a tough spot of your own making.
Working hard to buy a nice home in a nice community with nice neighbors is an admirable thing. Taking a bit of time to learn about the location which will become your home is an admirable thing as well.
You chose to live next to a river which frequently floods.
Nobody wants you to just drown. We just don’t have much sympathy for people who took a known risk (living in an area which floods), then arguing that they should not have to take responsibility when things go bad.
Hot debate. What do you think? 23 29
This kind of attitude absolutely floors me! Oxbow is no more flood prone than Fargo…what is so hard to understand about this? Do you realize how low the water level needs to be in Fargo before they have to start scrambling to save government offices, homes, business, etc? The flood that Oxbow now has to worry about is one that is man made and put on them…not a natural flood and not a result of building in a known risk. You act as if the homes in Oxbow are built in some flood prone area and Fargo is high and dry. You do realize that Oxbow is not even classified as a high risk flood zone for FEMA and flood insurance purposes right? Meaning…I live in Oxbow and am not REQUIRED to carry flood insurance. Now I ask you, if this was such a flood prone / high risk area, don’t you think I would be required to?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 40 10
What about the people who live in Bakke, Hickson, Comstock, Christine? These communities do not flood but will be under 8 ft of water. These residents have taken the time to learn about the area & have built where there was no flooding. It appears to me the Fargo leaders did not take their time to do research & allowing people to build on the river & now are asking all the southern residents to sacrifice everything they have because it was not thought out appropriately on Fargo’s side.
I hope everyone in Fargo realizes this dam/diversion is going to destroy the Red River Valley. Every community south, west, & north will be impacted by this water. Why even call it the Red River Valley anymore? It should be called the Fargo Valley.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 40 12
Dan – really don’t think that Walaker and Vanyo care about destroying the Red River Valley – I think they only care about Fargo!!
If they cared they would have been upfront and honest before the vote!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 44 12
This is pretty basic stuff. Since this Dam / Diversion thing was publicized who in there right mind would even make an offer on a house on the other side of the Dam? My house has never flooded (without sandbagging) but It will be after the Walaker/ Mahoney Dam is constructed…
What would anybody pay for my place? I doesn’t make a difference if it is worth $100,000 or 1,000,000 the value is $0 or what ever a demolition crew would pay for the scraps. Why should we pay taxes on this? I think 80% is too much…
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 30 15
What I meant was 20% of my last Wilkin County assesment is to much.
Like or Dislike: 18 9
But it will be worth something when you get bought out and we all know that will happen – its at that point you can debate the property tax reduction, not now so its really not worth $0 as you put it. Part of the cass county tax will be used for flood buyouts, pay your share until that happens and deal with it then.
Hot debate. What do you think? 14 19
Tim, are you sure we are going to get bought out? If you have this information there is a ton of people that would like to be reassured of this “fact”….I don’t think you know this for sure. AND when do you think we will get bought out? Yeah….I don’t know either. Can you imagine being in “limbo land” for 8+ years where you can hardly justify doing any improvements to your home/yard because of the uncertainty that you will get your money back with a “buyout”? Isn’t that why people buy houses in the first place because it’s an investment to gain equity? I can find some pretty nice apartments around but was tired of throwing my money away every month for rent! And the one aspect that I haven’t read on here that I think a lot of people are missing is according to the Corps/Governments rules, a buyout/mitigation situation (which is administered by the local sponsors) doesn’t have to be initiated until said project is entering that said affected area…..Oh and they are going to start building this “diversion” north of Harwood!! And it’s an 8-10 year project. So…..doing some quick math…that’s 8-10 years before everyone south of fargo gets any consideration for there area. THIS is why everyone is screaming south of town. If I decided to add an addition to my house with a possible buyout looming to anyone with half of a brain would say that is a poor investment on my part. Because improvements like that take time to mature the value of the property. And you think I would get my money back out of that improvement to my property with a buyout? Most likely not. This is the big issue at hand. It’s either derail the diversion project timeline to actually take adequate time to really analyze flood protection or hope that if the project goes through that the local sponsors decide to start buyout mitigation talks immediately following congressional project funding.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 25 9
Tim, read again. Keith does not live in the “Promised Land” of Cass County. He lives in Wilkin County. Do you think Cass County is going to buy out all the homes in Cass, Clay, Richland and Wilkin that King Denny intends to destroy so he can build his New New Orleans south of his New Lake Agassiz? Take a look at where he plans his new Rutten Park. That was all completely under water this year, and this was not even a 100-year flood. Fargo’s main intent on this dam diversion is not to protect the current residents. The Minnesota diversion plan would do that at a fraction of the cost with absolutely no negative impact upstream or downstream. His intent is to sprawl further south onto more flood plain at the expense of those who do not live on the flood plain.
Like or Dislike: 13 2
Great comment about Rutten Park, Lori you nailed it.
Like or Dislike: 9 0
Hickson, Bakke, Comstock do NOT flood. They are part of this too. Oxbow has taken care of the areas that did flood and no longer floods. Is there a chance, yes, in a 500 year flood. ALL of these communities will be wiped out and none of this was their problem before. We are not required to carry flood insurance, we are one of the highest elevations in Cass County. Magic Johnson, get your facts straight, we did research where we bought.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 35 5
It is quite simple.
The County commission in pushing this ridiculous diversion has greatly reduced the values of the properties along and South of the project. Only a fool would buy a home in these areas with this threat hanging over their head. Therefore the County Commission in essence has “Taken” the value of these properties and should reduce the values accordingly and reimburse the school districts and townships for their losses. The idea that people are going to receive large buyouts is another fallacy in this discussion. Land owners will receive “Fair Market Value” no more no less. In the meantime properties cannot be sold because of all the unknowns.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 37 6
True but if they receive fair market value that is normally higher than the taxable value so if we reduce the taxable value amount they in essence they aren’t paying their fair share and passing the burden onto the rest of us.
There is nothing to stop people from trying to sell their property – there just may not be buyers but they can try – I have read nothing that prohibits that.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 7 36
Tim, nobody is even trying to tell us what fair market value is. You are right, there is nothing stopping us from trying to sell our homes. There are buyers that would like to move out of the city and move into our area. But there aren’t any banks that will loan the money to purchase any property south of the proposed dam and it’s doubtful the buyers are walking around with that much cash in their pockets. I can’t even get a refinance or an equity loan on my property because of speculation that this project may pass.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 25 5
So what do you think should be done? What if your property taxes were reduced, then what value do you think you should get when the buyouts come (and we all know they will) or do you think you should get the current value you think its worth?
If your property tax is reduced by 80% then will you and others be happy with only getting 80% of the amount you feel its worth when the buyouts come or do you feel you should get the property tax reduced to reflect what you feel the property is worth but want want the higher amount when it comes time to the buyout? I for one feel you can’t have it both ways. If you are willing to accept the fact that your house is worth 80% less via the property tax reduction, then you should also be willing to accept 80% less of what you think the property is worth when it comes to buyout time. Otherwise you want the $$ but don’t want to share the burden of getting that $$
Hot debate. What do you think? 20 18
Another person that really understands our frustration. Fargo is full of bullies that either don’t get it or just don’t care about us on the other side of the Walaker Wall.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 32 17
Property tax is based on the ASSESSED value of the property. While the MARKET value of the homes in Oxbow (and mine, too, by the way) is essentially nil right now, they are still valuable to those who would offer a buyout. If the homeowners in Oxbow want an 80% reduction in property taxes, are they willing to take the 80% reduction in assessed value that goes along with it? My guess is that they want to say their homes are worthless right up until they get their buyout check for full “fair market value.” You can’t have it both ways–full price when the time comes, or full tax burden now.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 36 10
I read what is written and think about the number of years it would take to even build a diversion. Personally, I hope there never is a diversion. I know of several people in the F/M area that have taken the buyouts and knew for sometime that it was going to happen but none of them asked for a reduction in their taxes. So I guess I would have to ask what makes Oxbow any different then them. I didn’t want to see them lose their homes nor do I want to see Oxbow residents lose theirs. I am tired of all these people blaming only Fargo when this entails the F/M area, Cass and Clay Counties. Have any of you listened to the news lately? This whole country is suffering what with flooding, forest fires and tornados. Think about the devastation and the lives lost. At least you can be thankful that you still have a home. Some of these people have nothing but the clothes on their backs. Look at the flooding and what was done to protect Baten Rouge and New Orleans and the thousands of homes and thousand of acres of farmland destroyed. Any blame should be placed directly on Mother Nature as she can be cruel as we all know. It it weren’t for her, we wouldn’t be in this situation.
Hot debate. What do you think? 22 11
The blame on Fargo is the development in areas along the river where development never should have been allowed. Just this spring there was a controversy in one neighborhood in Fargo where the residents didn’t want their yards tore up and for a time weren’t allowing the city in to protect the area, its that kind of arrogance and ME, ME, ME attitude about Fargo that has people blaming Fargo. A few years ago Mr. Portra (sp) didn’t want to sell out his home lose his neighborhood and that meant that the city couldn’t properly protect Fargo. There are many many others stories like this that happen ever year in Fargo. Last year a story ran in the GF Herald about an elderly gentleman in Fargo who told a reporter (as he watched people sandbag and save his home) that he hoped this didn’t once again ramp up the conversation about building a dike so he couldn’t see the river from his house – see the pattern and this is from Fargo.
Fargo thinks only of themselves and their building and planning in the last few decades has added to the flooding problem. That is why people blame Fargo.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 32 8
Tim, I know there are arrogant people like those that you mentioned that don’t want their view blocked or yards dug up. But those are a handful of people not the attitude of everyone in the F/M area. And I agree that is a very selfish attitude. We are quite a ways from the Red and are at 43 feet but still need to be prepared every year to sandbag. Would I oppose a permanet dike in my backyard – NO! I would welcome it. It sure beats sandbagging. Every community has people that have the ME, ME, ME attitude. It isn’t just people in Fargo or Oxbow. I jremember a comment by a gentleman from Kindred that blamed Fargo for the overland flooding. Doesn’t he understand that the Red flows North? The reason I posted what I did as I am one of those people that want to see the best plan that would protect everyone. Right now the F/M is building dikes for permanent protection so I wonder if the diversion will ever be built. Hopefullly, not. If those dike hold, there is no reason for a diversion.
Like or Dislike: 17 7
I can only say that if I lose a battle to Mother Nature so be it. It is “NOT” the same as the buyouts that have occured in the past. They are homes that flooded year after year. We are talking about homes that have with stood everything mother nature has had to offer so far. But then along comes a man made Dam that will take care of that. Do you get our point? The FM area needs to find a way to fix their problem without flooding us. Move some business, homes, and whatever and make some more low lying parks and things like Grand Forks did.. It would be the sensible thing to do and a lot less $$$.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 29 5
Anyone who thinks this diversion is the best solution is an idiot an has not looked at the whole picture.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 30 3
I can only wish everyone could understand our side as well as you. I appreciate your comments and thank you for sending your thoughts to the commision. I like your idea of bringing in the same group that worked with Grand Forks.
I feel like the Fargo and CC leaders are turning the other cheek and not listening to â€OURâ€ concerns. I sure wish I had a stronger voice and a way of getting to them. I would love to take them on a tour of the valley where I grew up between Comstock / Hickson/Oxbow, and Wolverton and let them see for themselves what they are destroying but I doubt they would except or even acknowledge the invitation.
I have much knowledge of the Red as I have spent a lot of time near, on, and around it since the mid 60â€™s. Walaker isnâ€™t the only one in the valley that knows how to read the Redâ€¦.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 17 2
Keith, I would like to see something that would work for the good of all those along the Red River without small communities being eliminated. I have forwarded to the City of Fargo the following:
The firm that worked with the Corps of Engineers in the Grand Forks levee project was Shannon and Wilson from the Seattle area. They are a geotechnical and consulting firm. They play a key role in the design and construction of many challenging endeavors, both public and private. Perhaps this is something that should be looked into. They seem to have done an excellent job along with the Corps in the Grand Forks project. The cost would be a lot less than a diversion. Just another option.
It would be, as you said, the sensible thing to do. At the very least, should be looked into.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 26 1
It’s very surprising just how UNINFORMED the citizens of Fargo are when it comes to this proposed Diversion/Dam. It seems that they (fargo citizens ) think all us folks that live south of fargo live in a big flood prone hole. Well I got a news flash for all those uninformed people. Downtown (baby) is at around 900 ft above sea level and most of the residential areas are well below that in the HIGH 800 area. All of the homes in Bakke are well above 915 ft above sea level and some are at 917. the same goes for Hickson and Oxbow. That makes this area 15 to maybe 20 FEET OR MORE HIGHER THAN FARGO, SO WHO LIVES IN A FLOOD PRONE AREA? It looks like all those people in Fargo. If this Diversion gets built I hope you all enjoy paying all that tax that has not been talked about except behind closed doors. Then think about all that Water being held back by those 15 foot high clay dikes (like the ones that have failed along the Mississippi river this spring) I wonder how safe you will feel with a 12 foot wall of water held back by those dikes that will be built at around 915 ft above sea level. Yup all that water 15 to 20 feet above Your Flood prone hole called Fargo.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 28 10
don c, I do know that you folks that live south of fargo NO NOT live in a big flood prone hole. You are however, subject to overland flooding from the Sheyenne and Wild Rice Rivers. My cousin lives on a farmstead in the Kindred area and has had to move into the F/M area for a couple weeks at a time the last few years. He does not blame Fargo or the F/M area. It is what it is. As I said before, I am not in favor of a diversion but from the what I read, I don’t think anything the F/M area does will please any people to the South.
Like or Dislike: 13 8
Actually, the Wild Rice & Sheyenne rivers do not touch Hickson/Bakke/Oxbow. This diversion will not only displease the people to the south but also to the west & north. The only one benefitting from any of this is Fargo. I totally agree with you that the whole Red River Vally needs to be looked at & something done to benefit everyone involved. Fargo alone should not be given the sole power in deciding so many peoples’ fate.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 22 5
Since I didn’t know the location of don c, it was a generalization regarding the Sheyenne and Wild Rice. I wish there was an answer that would benefit everyone.
Like or Dislike: 12 1
Autumn said “I donâ€™t think anything the F/M area does will please any people to the South”… well let me put it this way for you, Those of us that live out south of Fargo toke the time to find a place that was WELL out of the 100 year flood zone to build our homes. I lived in Fargo for years and was tired of all the street flooding and flooded basement problems that I had to fight. Then there was the sewer back up problem in my area of fargo. Now that’s a real joy to wake up to. these are just a few of the reasons I wanted out of Fargo, there are more but you can read about them in the news paper. I have lived out here for 24 years now and have never had any flood water from the Red. Wild rice or the Sheyenne rivers cause me any problems and never had water or sewage in my basement. Fargo on the other hand has been letting homes be built in ares that are below flood stage for years and now that we are in a wet cycle their having problems. Fargo seem to think that it’s all right to screw over the folks that toke the time to make sure they built their homes in a safe place with their push for this Dam/Diversion that will put water where it’s NEVER been before. So you asked what would make us happy. THAT WOULD BE FLOOD CONTROL FOR FARGO THAT WON’T WIPE US OUT. Once again I will throw out some Elevations for all you misinformed citizens of Fargo. Hickson 915 ft above sea level, my home 917ft. Now on to Fargo, The Black Building in Downtown “baby” is at 906ft and probably one of the highest in town. Block six on main is 889ft, the Fargo sewer plant up in north fargo is at 892ft. The dam on the Red just north of 12th ave north is at 883ft the south dam is at 886ft and Fargo #2 dam is at 892ft. I could post more fargo elevations but I think you should look them up for your self. If you take the time to do so you will find that most of fargo’s residential areas are at or well below 900ft above sea level. Oh and buy the way when Fargo uses the feet above flood stage measurement think about this, when the Red River is at 38.75ft above flood stage that’s right around 900 feet above sea level and what that means when the river gets to 40/ 41 ft above flood stage. When Fargo is fighting a flood at 38 to 41 feet we are still high and dry at 917 ft…..
Like or Dislike: 14 3
Don’t you know that the elevation drops as you go north. So just because Oxbow is 915 and Fargo 900 doesn’t necessarily mean less flood prone.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 10 24
look at the history of the Red River. Next look at the name… Oxbow…. do you really think ya aint gonna get wet? Stupid to build in the area to begin with. Stupid commissioners to allow such a project to be developed.
Like or Dislike: 3 12
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