If you’re a commercial property owner in Minnesota, you may be interested in contesting the amount of property taxes being assessed against your property.
The first step is to visit your local tax assessor’s office. There, you can check any unclear facts and compare neighboring property values to see if your property is being over-valued. If you believe you are being taxed unfairly in relation to other, similar properties, you can seek an adjustment right from the assessor.
If you’re unsuccessful there, depending on the assessed value of your property, there are two methods of appealing an assessment:
For commercial property assessed at over $100,000, you can appeal directly to the Minnesota Tax Court’s Regular Division (as opposed to the small claims division). This is a specialized court created to hear only tax matters. It travels to hearings throughout the state.
This is called a “one-step appeal,” but if you disagree with the tax court’s decision, you can still appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court.
For commercial property assessed at under $100,000, there is a three-step process. You should appeal to your city or township’s board of review. These bodies meet between April 1 and May 31. You can appeal by letter or in person by calling the clerk for an appointment.
If you disagree with the decision of the board of review, you can then appeal to your county’s board of equalization. These boards meet for two weeks every June. You can appeal by letter or in person. To make an appointment, call the county auditor or assessor.
If you are still unsatisfied, you can appeal the board of equalization’s decision to the Minnesota Tax Court’s Small Claims Division by April 30 of the year following the assessment you are disputing. In these cases, the Small Claims Division’s decisions are final.
Although attorneys are not required in the property tax appeals process, they are highly recommended. A lawyer familiar with the appeals process will know the potential issues and can help you navigate them efficiently.