Reading Your Property Tax Statement
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By Gretta Becay

Each year, Minnesota property owners receive three important documents from the county where they own property.

In the fall, it’s the ‘Proposed Taxes’ statement for the following year. These figures are based on the proposed levies filed by each taxing authority, (county, city, school district) where the property is. These figures are based on the proposed levy amounts filed with the state by each taxing authority before Sept. 30. On that notice is information about the ‘Truth in Taxation’ meetings held for each taxing authority.

At those meetings, a public hearing is held to hear comments about the amount of the levy.

The levy amount may be lowered as a result of comments at the meetings, but it may not be raised.

However, if any of the taxing authorities held referendum votes, the levy amount may increase by the amounts of the successful referendums.

Property tax levies are based on each authority’s budget.

The value of properties is determined by the county assessors’ offices, and that value is based on recent real estate property sales in the locality.

Each Spring, property owners receive two documents from their counties; the ‘Property Tax Statement,’ with the payment coupons attached on the bottom, and, the ‘Valuation Notice.’ There are announcements on the valuation notices that tell property owners when they may discuss the valuation of their property.

During the past few years, property values have jumped significantly in the counties surrounding Rochester and its booming economy and new residents are seeking property further out that might be more affordable.

How do you read the Proposed Taxes statement?

The upper left quarter of the form shows where the statement comes from; the Dodge County Administrator. Next is your name and mailing address followed by the identifying information about the property including the property description and address.

In the upper right-hand corner are three steps.

Step 1 shows the market value of your property; both the estimated and the taxable. If you have a homestead exclusion on your property, this is where it is subtracted from your estimated market value. This value is determined by the County Assessor’s office and you’ll get that valuation notice in the spring.

Step 2 shows the total proposed property tax levies from the three taxing authorities minus credits that apply to your property; for example, the agricultural credit.

Step 3 notes that your property tax statement; the document that you actually pay from, will arrive in the spring of next year.

The next box reminds taxpayers that the time to provide feedback on these proposed levies is when you get the truth in taxation notice. The dates and times of the public hearings are listed next on the lower half of the statement. This lower box also shows the previous year’s actual levies for each taxing authority and the proposed levy for your property for the following year.

At the very bottom of the form are the totals of the levies for last year and next year and the percent that the taxes changed.