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Property Tax Statements and Valuation Notices to be Mailed in Late March

Posted: 03/10/2022

Category: Departments

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Douglas County property values are strong. “The continued demand for homes in the area and cost of building supplies have significantly affected market values,” said Douglas County Assessor Stacy Honkomp. “Almost every city and township saw an increase in 2022 values and increases of 15 to 25 percent were common.”

Douglas County recorded 591 home sales this past year, which is a 5.35 percent increase from last year.  Demand was especially intense for lakefront parcels. There were 169 lake sales with an average sale price of $477,723. The value of agricultural land also increased, averaging approximately $100 per acre. There were 43 agricultural land sales in Douglas County from October 1, 2020, to September 30, 2021.

Douglas County will mail approximately 30,000 Property Tax Statements and Valuation Notices around March 25th. The tax statement and valuation notice for each parcel will arrive together in one envelope again this year. The Property Tax Statement itemizes the property owner’s share of the taxes payable in 2022 and is calculated using the 2021 assessed value and classification. The Valuation Notice advises the property owner of the Assessor’s classification and estimated market value for the 2022 assessment for taxes payable in 2023. “The Assessor’s Office wants to ensure that everyone understands how the process works,” said Honkomp. “Be sure to look at both statements and understand that value is just part of the equation.”

The assessor uses land and building schedules to value property consistently throughout the county and be relatively close to the sales prices. With different motivations for buyers and sellers however, it is virtually impossible to value properties at their sales price. Douglas County uses a computerized mass appraisal system that considers the sales and the property characteristics unique to each parcel to arrive at a market value. Sales of real estate are the primary guide to the county’s mass appraisal system.

The assessed value of your property does not directly affect your property tax bill. It is used to calculate your share of the local property tax levy for the year. The levy is the total property tax revenue needed to fund the budgets set by the county, city or township, and school district. Increasing or decreasing your property’s market value does not change the overall amount of the property tax collected.

The Minnesota Department of Revenue assigns a regional representative to each county, who monitors every sale and compares the sales prices with the assessed values. If the assessed values are not within 10% of the median (middle sale when ranked in order) sales prices in a jurisdiction, the DOR can order an adjustment to the entire jurisdiction.

If a property owner wants to appeal their classification or value on their 2022 Valuation Notice (for taxes payable in 2023), they must follow the appeal process. These meetings will be held from April 12 through April 22, and appointments are required. The Valuation Notice will include the specific date, time and location for their city or township meeting where classification and value issues will be heard. Property owners in the city of Alexandria should call 320-763-6678 to make an appointment. All other property owners in the county should contact the Assessor’s Office at 320-762-3884 or email assessors.office@co.douglas.mn.us.  An appeal cannot be made to the County Board of Appeal unless an appeal was first heard by the city or township Local Board of Appeal.

Note that these meetings cannot take any action on the taxes currently due. For those facing financial hardship, please go to the state of Minnesota’s website www.revenue.state.mn.us and type in M1PR in the search box. It will connect you to a form that compares your income with your property taxes due (on homestead property) and you may be eligible for a partial refund of your property tax. Consult an accountant for further information. If you own and live in your home and are not getting homestead classification, contact the Assessor’s Office. All new homesteads will require an application.

First half property tax payments are due May 15th, with the exception of first half mobile home tax payments which come due later this summer.

“Douglas County will once again offer a number of convenient ways to pay property taxes,” said Auditor/Treasurer Vicki Doehling. “Residents wanting to pay in person need to remember our office has moved from the courthouse to the new Administration Building at 821 Cedar Street. There is a drop box in the parking lot in addition to one on the west side of the building for everyone’s convenience.”

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