MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Homeowners may have gotten a notice from the county in the mail over the past few days. It’s the 2020 Proposed Property Tax, which breaks down taxes by city, county and school district levies. It also tells people how much the value of their homes have changed. Those things together are the main determinants of what determines an individual’s property tax values.
“We consider the levy as the driver and the home’s value as which share of that levy you will pay,” says Andrea Fish, Assistant Director with the Minnesota Department of Revenue.
So, how do assessors determine the value of a home? Good Question.
“We are somewhat like historians in Ramsey County,” Ramsey County Assessor Luis Rosario said. “We look at last year’s sales to look at this year’s value.”
The assessor’s office compares a home to five comparable ones that have sold in the neighborhood over the past year. A comparable sale would be similar in size, style, condition and location.
If a homeowner has pulled permits for home improvement, the assessor’s office will come to a home and visit. Every five years, the law requires assessors to ask to go inside a person’s home.
“You don’t have to let us in,” Rosario said. “We do have to make some assumptions if you don’t want to let us in.”
He says 10-15% of homeowners allow county assessors inside their homes. For the homes they don’t go inside, they walk the perimeter and will often take a photo of the property.
Homeowners are able to appeal their assessments in the spring. That happens between March, when people first get their value notices, and May. In Ramsey County, approximately 1100 people appealed their assessment. Between 60% and 70% were approved.
“When a property owner does call us, one thing he has to be aware of is when we do the review, the value may go up,” Rosario said.
It’s too late to appeal this year’s estimate. The only option for that is tax court.
Some homeowners are also eligible for a special property tax refund. Eligible people must have lived in their home from January 2, 2018 to January 2, 2019, had your property tax increase by more than 12% and $100 from 2018 to 2019.
Homeowners can file for free for that refund on the Minnesota’s Department of Revenue website.