Thursday, February 17, 2011

Property Tax Assessment

In class we discussed the process of assessing property tax and more specifically the assessment methods and quality of assessment. Assessment can be costly to a government agency which is why many do property assessment annually or biannually, such as Minneapolis. According to state law, the value and classification of real estate are established as of January 2 and December 1 each year for Minnesota.

What, you may ask, are the conditions they assess? Some discussion around assessors examining only the exterior and not considering the interior of a home came about during class. According to the City of Minneapolis "assessor's base the estimate of market value on the characteristics of the property that affect market value such as size, age, condition, and basement finish, as well as special features like fireplaces, extra baths, walkout and other factors." The assessed market value is then compared to market sales "to assure property values are fair and equitable." Property classification such as commercial, apartment, farm, homestead are also considered with market value in property tax assessment. Do you live in Minneapolis? Curious about your estimated property tax? The City provides a Property Tax Estimator.

After an assessor has come to your home the assessor mails a value notice by the end of March each year indicating the value and classification of your home for property taxes you will pay the following year. Did you know that if you disagree with your value notice you can call the appraiser and discuss your concerns? If even after your discussion with the appraiser you feel that your assessment is incorrect you can appeal your assessment.

How many people do you think actually go through this process to be sure their property is assessed fairly?

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