State law requires that the value and classification of real estate property be established as of January 2 each year. The Assessor's Office works throughout the year to estimate the market value of each property for the following January 2.
Minnesota Statute 273.08 requires that the Assessor is responsible to review every parcel under his/her jurisdiction at least once every five years to make sure that the information used to establish market values is accurate and up to date. The appraisal interval may be shorter due to review appraisals requested by the homeowner, ongoing new construction, or if the appraiser feels there may be an error in the property information for a particular property. All new construction, alterations or improvements will be viewed in the current year.
The appraiser gathers information on all characteristics of the property that affect market value, such as size, age, quality, basement finish and extra features, such as fireplaces, extra baths, walkouts, etc.
The property characteristics are entered into a computerized system. The computer aids the Assessor in estimating the property value. Information from actual sales is used to update your market value. The market value estimated by the Assessor should be at, or very close to, the amount the property would sell for if placed on the open market. The State Board of Equalization requires the overall level of assessment to be between 90% and 105% of market value.
Each year the Assessor analyzes actual sales of property in each community. Preceding the January 2nd assessment date, sales in a 12 month time period (October 1st to September 30th) are reviewed to determine what properties have sold for on the open market. These sales are used as a guide to help determine “what similar properties would likely sell for” if they were placed on the market.
A Value Notice is mailed around mid-March each year to each property owner. The assessment on January 2 forms the basis for the following year's tax. That is, the value and classification on January 2, of the current year is used to calculate the next year’s taxes.