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How High Is Too High? Some Homeowners Shocked Over Property Tax Valuations

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Some metro homeowners may be experiencing sticker shock when it comes to their property tax valuations.

Ramsey County Assessor Luis Rosario says certain neighborhoods are being assessed at more than 18% higher than last year. There are options for homeowners to contest their valuations. But how high is too high?

"More than 5% is on the high side. You usually don't see more than that in a given year, however, this year there have been more increases than normal," said Steve Warren, a senior tax manager.

Mitch Borgen is a homeowner with properties around the metro.

"You budget for a certain amount and then it just jumps up a lot," Borgen said.

The valuation of his north Minneapolis duplex has gone up roughly 2% per year for the past few years. This year, it is much higher – between 15%-20%.

"It could be where it went up 2% or 3% at most when the actual value of the home may have gone up 5%, 6% or more for many of those years," Warren said.

Property Tax Assessment
(credit: CBS)

He said home improvements or a recent sale in your neighborhood could also be reasons for a justified increase. But if the numbers don't add up you can appeal to your local assessor.

Rosario said if you call the office to appeal your valuation, the county will send out an assessor. But experts advise you do your research before you pick up the phone.

"Have good evidence to back you up starting with comparables nearby," Warren said. "You can find out from most county websites what the value is of recent sales near you."

Warren said if your property tax valuation went up a great deal without an obvious explanation, it could be worth it to appeal the valuation.

"If the taxable market value goes up more than 12%, you may be entitled to a special property tax refund," Warren said.

Rosario said homeowners should call and appeal their valuations as soon as possible. The number to call is 651-266-2131. There are also upcoming open book meetings on April 2 and April 3 at the Plato Building. Check with your county or city to appeal:

  • Minneapolis
  • Ramsey County
  • Hennepin County
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