I don’t know about you but property taxes (in my opinion) are all over the map. We get the statement in the mail year after year and property taxes are up, down, same as previous years, lower my property taxand not always in-line with other properties near ours…what gives? Are they accurate? Too high or low? How do you even know if the property taxes you’re paying are realistic based on the properties value?
Perhaps your neighbor’s house sold for $150,000 and it’s virtually the same house as yours but your paying taxes on a $195,000 mortgage — doesn’t seem right. Then another house 2 blocks over that’s nicer than yours sells for $163,000, now you’re thinking “what gives”? Are my property taxes too high for my “real value” in today’s market?
Process to appeal your property taxes:
Talk to your assessor by calling the number listed on your value notice. Discuss your concerns with the assessor / appraiser & review sales information. OR…….
Appeal directly to the Minnesota Tax Court – Appeals must be filed by April 30th of the year following the assessment – go to www.Taxcourt.state.mn.us for more.
Attend the “Board of Appeal & Equalization” or Open Book meeting which meets in April or May. Call your assessor, an appointment may be necessary. This is an informal opportunity to resolve assessment questions prior to the County Board of Appeal and Equalization meeting in the next step.
Attend the County Board of Appeal & Equalization, its best to do so in person.
How to prepare to appeal your property taxes through the local and county Boards of Appeal & Equalization:
So you have decided to appeal your Minnesota property tax evaluation to your local or county Boards of Appeal & Equalization. Remember, you must first appeal to the local Board of Appeal & Equalization before appealing to your County Board of Appeal & Equalization.
If you haven’t already done so, you should contact your assessors’ office directly before making a formal appeal as many times it can be resolved at this level with no further action. Minnesota law is going to fully assume that the county assessor has correctly valued your Minnesota property. It will be solely up to you to bring sufficient and factual evidence to convince the Board otherwise.
First, do some research and collect information to support your claim that your property tax value is too high.
Double check all the information about your property, such as its finished square footage, dimensions, age and condition.
Review records to see what similar homes are selling for in your area.
Have a local real estate agent do a free market analysis of your property.
Ask the assessor to explain how he or she determined the value and criteria they used.
You will also want to gather supporting evidence including a recent appraisal, recent sales of similar properties and photos of your property. Remember to present your case clearly, efficiently and get that point across as effectively as possible.
A few things you may also want to consider… Ask your local Realtor their opinion of value, many times this can be done with a quick description and an e-mail. If you plan on selling in the near future, a lower tax payment may be a benefit to a home buyer. However, the lower tax value may have a negative impact on asking price so choose your battles carefully.
Derrick Monroe – Licensed Realtor in the state of MN
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