Understanding the Property Tax System
Estimated market value?
The estimated market value of a property is the amount the assessor
estimates a buyer would pay for a property if it were offered for sale. Each
year the assessor reviews the market valuation of your property to determine
if changes in the real estate market or improvements to properties require a
change in the estimated market value.
Classification and class rates
All Property is classified by the assessor according to its use. Each
class of property (home, apartment, cabin, farm, business) may be taxed at a
different percentage of its value. This percentage, or class rate, is
determined by the state legislature. Like market value, the class rate of
your property plays a significant role in how much property tax you pay.
Each spring, the assessor will mail you a "Valuation of Real Property
Notice" informing you of the value and classification of your property. If
you believe the classification or the estimated market value of your
property is incorrect, you have several appeal options.
The first step is to do some research. Begin by visiting the
- Verify information about your property, such as its dimensions,
age and condition of its structures.
- Review records to determine the market value of similar property
in your neighborhood.
- Review sales data to find out what similar property in your area
is selling for.
- Check real estate ads in your newspaper to get an idea of the
asking price of local properties.
Ask the assessor to explain the criteria used for assessing your
property. You may also review the assessments of other property used in
the same manner as yours.
Appealing your assessment
You have the right to appeal your market value estimate and/or property
classification if you feel your property is:
- Classified improperly
- Valued at an amount higher than you could sell your property for
- Valued at a level different from similar properties in your area
First, meet with the assessor to discuss changing your assessment. If you
and the assessor are unable to agree on your valuation or
classification,more formal methods of appeal are available.
You can appeal to your local and county Boards of Appeal and Equalization
or attend the open book meeting if your local taxing district no longer has
a local Board of Appeal and Equalization. You can take your appeal directly
to the Minnesota Tax Court. Or you can choose both options, in which case
begin with the local board of appeal and equalization.
Local Board of Appeal and Equalization
If you choose to appeal to your local boards, first meet with your City
or Town Board of Appeal and Equalization. These are usually the same people
as your city or town council. The board meets on a specified day in April or
May. The exact date is listed on your Valuation of Real Property Notice.
We strongly recommend that you call the Becker County Assessor's Office at
(218) 846-7300 to schedule your appearance. You may make your
appeal in person, by letter, or have someone else appear for you. The
assessor will be present to answer questions. You must present your case to
the city or town board before going to the County Board of Appeal and
County Board of Appeal and Equalization
If you are not satisfied with the decision of the city or town board,
you may appeal to the County Board of Appeal and Equalization. You
must present your case to the city or town board before going to the County
Board of Appeal and Equalization. This board meets in June. The
exact date is listed on your Valuation of Real Property Notice. The members
are usually the county board of commissioners. You must call the
Becker County Assessor at (218) 846-7300 to schedule your appearance before
the board. You may make your appeal in person, by letter, or have
someone else appear for you. The assessor will be present to answer
If you are not satisfied with the decision of the County Board of Appeal
and Equalization, you may appeal to the Minnesota Tax Court.
You have until April 30 of the year the tax becomes payable to appeal
your assessment to the Minnesota Tax Court. In other words, you must
appeal your 2007 valuation and classification on or before April 30,
The Tax Court has two divisions, Small Claims Division
and Regular Division. The small claims division
only hears appeals involving one of the following situations:
- The assessor's estimated market value of your property is less than
- Your entire parcel is classified as a residential homestead (1a or
1b) and the parcel contains no more than one dwelling unit.
- Your entire property is classified as an agricultural homestead (1b
- Appeals involving the denial of a current year application for
homestead classification of your property.
The proceedings of the small claims division are less formal and many
people represent themselves. Decisions made by the small claims
division are final and cannot be appealed further.
The regular division will hear all appeals-including
those within the jurisdiction of the small claims division.
Divisions made here can be appealed to a higher court. Most
people who appeal to the regular division hire an attorney because the
hearing is conducted according to the Minnesota rules of civil
You may obtain complete information on Tax Court appeals by
writing or calling the court administrator in your county or by
Minnesota Tax Court
Minnesota Judicial Center
25 Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard
St. Paul, MN 55115