Crow Wing County reports assessed property values drop by $620 million
Crow Wing County property values decreased by $620 million, according to a the latest data released by the county’s assessment office.
But lower assessments don’t necessarily translate to lower taxes. Last year, the 2011 assessment decreased by $820 million. Total assessed value of all properties in the county declined from $10.43 billion as of Jan. 2, 2011, to $9.8 billion on Jan. 2, 2012, according to the county’s 2012 assessment.
Gary Griffin, Crow Wing Land Services supervisor for property valuation and classification, noted that an overall decline in value does not mean all properties have declined in value. “Each property value is established based on actual sales that occurred in the marketplace. If comparable properties in a neighborhood during the study period sold for more, valuations will be higher; if comparable nearby properties sold for less, valuations go down,” he said in a news release.
State rules don’t allow the county to consider foreclosures, sales between relatives, government sales, or other sales that are not considered arms length transactions.
“This really limits the number of sales we can use for comparables in today’s market,” Griffin said. State rules require assessed values to fall within a statistical range which is between 90 percent and 105 percent of what comparable properties actually sold for. If the assessed value is outside that range, the state requires all property values to be raised or lowered accordingly.
Griffin pointed out lower assessed values do not necessarily mean lower taxes, unless government spending at the county, city, township, and school district levels decreases.
“Government spending, not assessed value drives what taxes are due and payable on property,” Griffin said. Assessed values are determined by sales of similar properties in the marketplace without regard to tax rates. Local units of government determine how much they need to run their operation — values are only used to determine how big a share of that pie each property represents. Griffin said the county reduced its tax levy by 2.37 percent in 2011.
The county currently is sending out valuation and classification notices to all landowners identifying the assessed value of the property as of Jan. 2, 2012, based on sales of comparable properties during the period October 2010 through September 2011.
Griffin encouraged taxpayers to contact his office with any questions they may have about valuation and classification notices.
“We are committed to providing excellent customer service and responding to all inquiries in an efficient, courteous and professional manner,” he said.
The office is located in Brainerd on the main floor of the Land Services Building, 322 Laurel Street. The main phone number is 824-1010 and the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the county’s website at www.co.crow-wing.mn.us.