For first time in six years, total property value in Crow Wing County increases
For the first time in six years, total property value in Crow Wing County increased from 2013-2014, according to property assessment data released by Crow Wing County.
Total assessed value of all properties in the county increased from $9.5 billion as of Jan. 2, 2013, to $9.6 billion on Jan. 2, 2014, an increase of $105 million or 1 percent, the County Land Services Department reported. From 2008 to 2013, the county’s estimated market value of properties decreased by 20 percent, from $12 billion to $9.5 billion.
The county currently is mailing valuation and classification notices to all property owners identifying the assessed value of the property as of Jan. 2, 2014, based on sales of comparable properties during the period October 2012 through September 2013.
Gary Griffin, land services supervisor for property valuation and classification, noted an overall increase in value does not mean all properties have increased in value.
“Each property value is established based on actual sales that occurred in the marketplace,” Griffin said in a news release. “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.”
Griffin said the Minnesota Department of Revenue rules determine the process counties must follow to determine assessed values.
“State rules don’t allow us to consider foreclosure sales, sales between relatives, government sales, or other sales that are not considered arm’s length transactions,” Griffin said. “This limits the number of sales we can use for comparables in today’s market.”
Minnesota 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 stated.
Griffin also pointed out that higher or lower assessed values do not necessarily mean higher or lower taxes.
“Government spending, at the county, city, township and school district levels drives what taxes are due and payable on property,” Griffin said. He noted Crow Wing County reduced its tax levy for 2014, as it has in each of the last four years, a 4.37 percent levy reduction over the period.
Griffin encouraged taxpayers to contact his office with any questions they may have about valuation and classification notices.
The office is located in Brainerd on the main floor of the Land Services Building, 322 Laurel St. The main phone number is 824-1010 and the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. The county website is www.crowwing.us.