The very first date on the Minnesota Department of Revenue’s property tax calendar is January 2 – the assessment date for both real and personal property in the state.

Though that date came and went uneventfully only about six months ago, it must feel like a distant event in another world for many commercial property owners. After all, January 2 is before the enormous economic downturn brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and before the civil unrest that began in Minneapolis with the death of George Floyd in police custody and then spread to much of the country and even some other major cities around the world.

Viable property tax appeal?

As most readers undoubtedly know, the assessment date is intended to accurately reflect the value of a property if it had sold that day. But if the assessment does not consider circumstances that have a negative impact on a property’s value – of if the assessed value is excessive – the owner of the property (or a leaseholder) could have a viable appeal.

Because of the pandemic, Minnesota legislators passed certain deadline extensions, including an extension of the deadline for filing an appeal of the taxes assessed last year and payable this year.

A confusing pair

But there is some confusion about the language and dates in a pair of statutes passed in response to the pandemic.

HF4531 extended the pay2020 property tax assessment appeal deadline to May 30, while HF4556 extended deadlines for 60 days after the governor lifted the state of emergency.

District court origins

However, HF4556 could well apply to HF4531, which applies to deadlines in proceedings in district courts, which includes property tax appeals. Though those appeals are decided by the tax court, appeals proceedings begin in district court.

It should be noted that HF4531 retained the property tax appeal process with the district court.

In addition, HF4531 is subject to the statute of limitations extension provided for in HF4556.

It should also be noted that on June 12, Governor Tim Walz extended the state of emergency order until July 13. It is not known if he will extend it further at that point.

Contact an attorney experienced in commercial property tax appeals to help you determine the best course of action regarding your property.