Crow Wing County Land Services Explains Property Tax Records

Local Property Tax Assessment and Classification Notices are sent to all property owners in Crow Wing County.

These notices inform citizens of the estimated value of their property in January based on sales of comparable properties between October 2019 and September. The assessed values ​​are then used to calculate the taxes due and payable in 2022.

Below are some of the main elements – and challenges – of the property assessment process and issues to consider when reviewing your assessment notices:

  • A state-imposed process. Although counties do most of the assessment work in Minnesota, the policies and procedures they follow are determined by the state legislature. State rules govern how the county classifies and evaluates these properties, based on physical characteristics, property use, and sales of comparable properties over a prescribed period. Additionally, state rules require that the values ​​assessed by the county fall within a statistical range determined by the state.

  • The confounding factor of time lag. State appraisal rules also require the county to use real estate sales that occurred up to 18 months ago to determine appraised values. This lag creates confusion when current market conditions do not reflect sales that took place up to a year and a half ago. In periods of rising house prices, this lag delays the rise in valuations. But during times of falling values, this naturally generates demands from taxpayers concerned that the valuation does not reflect current market conditions.

  • Assessment vs taxes. Local government spending decisions determine whether tax rates go up or down. Valuation valuations are determined without regard to tax rates, but based on comparable selling values ​​as noted above. The tax rate is determined later, based on the level of spending approved by local elected officials at the county, city, township and school district levels. Local government units determine how much money they need to run their operations – the values ​​are only used to determine how much of that expense each person will have to pay.

  • Slice the spending cake. Paying property taxes is like slicing a pie. Government spending is the cake. The value of each property determines the size of a slice of this pie that each homeowner pays in taxes. There are five main reasons a homeowner can see their taxes increase year over year. They are:

  1. Public spending has increased.

  2. The market value of the property has declined at a lower rate than other properties.

  3. The market value of the property has increased at a higher rate than other properties.

  4. The classification of the property has changed.

  5. The state is changing the rules, as it did in 2011, converting homestead credit into homestead exclusion.

Taxpayers with questions can contact Land Services at 218-824-1010, by email at [email protected], or by visiting the county website at www.crowwing.us.

Gregory M. Roy