Minnesota is notorious as a state with one of the highest tax rates in the country. This carries over to our property taxes. However, just because the assessor determines a value and the auditor determines a tax capacity does not mean that the final amount on property tax statements sent out by the treasurer is set in stone.
Taxpayers can appeal their property tax assessment at the local, county and state levels. The taxpayer can seek relief from the assessor, who can make a change, and the taxpayer needs to take no further action. If this does not happen, there are two avenues for an appeal.
The three-step process
It is a progressive appeals approach that moves to increasingly higher boards and courts:
- The local board of review
- The county board of equalization
- The Minnesota tax court
The single-step process
The Minnesota tax court has two divisions:
- Regular: This court has jurisdiction over all property in the state. This is a formal hearing similar to a court — it is highly recommended that the taxpayer hire a property tax attorney to represent them. If the regular division does not change the assessment, the taxpayer can appeal their case to the Minnesota Supreme Court.
- Small claims: This division handles homesteads regardless of their value, and it also rules on other properties valued at less than $300,000. The decisions are final, but the proceedings are less formal than the regular division.
The process is complicated
While small claims can be relatively straightforward, commercial property’s complexity can be daunting. Nevertheless, appealing a business’s property tax obligation is often worth the time and effort. Taxpayers often find it helpful to hire a property tax attorney to help guide them through the process.