Minnesota Public Radio recently ran a story detailing how some Minnesota businesses are struggling to compete along the North Dakota border. Moorhead convenience store and gas station operators were particularly hard hit because their customers can easily go to Fargo for the same services.
Brady Olson is one small business owner who took out a radio ad to voice his concerns regarding increasing sales and property taxes on his gas station.
“Hi, I’m Brady from Brady’s Service,” Olson said in the radio spot. “Minnesota has quietly been turning my business in to a tax collection business.”
Area officials say that Minnesota has traditionally had lower property tax rates than North Dakota, but the state’s surging oil wealth has changed that. Minnesota does provide some help to the Moorhead area, which is used to defray the cost of workers’ comp benefits and provide small incentives to new businesses.
State Representative Paul Marquardt told MPR News that the taxes Moorhead businesses pay contribute to the higher quality of life, infrastructure, and schools that Minnesotans enjoy compared to some of our neighbors. Marquardt also said that complete parity with N. Dakota is highly unlikely in the near future.
DFL lawmakers recently hinted that some Minnesota tax hikes could go away now that Olson and other local businesses are complaining loudly. One Lino Lakes warehouse owner says that the state’s tax on warehousing services is prompting his company to explore relocating.
“We’ve actually begun the process of looking for facilities in other states,” said Dave Smith, V.P. of Distribution Alternatives. “We’ve actually worked with a real estate agent already. We gave him the list of four or five states to look at.”
One thing that Minnesota property owners can do to combat property tax hikes is consider a reevaluation for their business. Over-assessments are common and a proper valuation can lower the tax burden of a company significantly more than a small legislative bump in rates.
Businesses that occupy single buildings and aging industrial sites are most commonly overvalued, but any type of commercial property can be improperly assessed.
Contact Robert Hill Law to discuss whether your business property may be overvalued.