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Most people think about how much income tax they pay in a year more than any other taxes, but taxpayers who ignore their property tax statements could be paying significantly more than they need to each year. Both residential and commercial property owners can be affected by inaccurate property tax valuation or classification. Property that is misclassified or incorrectly valued could mean you are paying too much in property taxes not only this year, but in future years.


What steps should a property owner take?

The first step you should take if you believe your property’s valuation is incorrect or your property is misclassified is talking to your assessor/appraiser. The information for getting in contact with your assessor/appraiser is typically listed on your property tax notice. During this step, you should also review your sales information and compare it to the tax notice to check for any inconsistencies.

If you are unsatisfied with the result of your discussion with your assessor/appraiser, the next step is to attend a meeting of the Local Board of Appeal and Equalization or Open Book meeting. At this meeting, you are able to appeal the estimate of the market value or the property classification of property you own if you think your property has been valued higher than its actual value, has been misclassified, or if you believe the property is valued at a different level from similar property in your area. You can make this appeal in person, or through a designated representative. Some cities allow for an appeal to the Local Board of Appeal and Equalization by mail.

If the result of the Local Board of Appeal and Equalization or Open Book meeting is unsatisfactory, the next step is attending a meeting at the County Board of Appeal and Equalization. If your city holds a Local Board of Appeal and Equalization meeting, you must first appeal to the city board before appealing to the county. However, if your city only holds an Open Book meeting, you are able to appeal directly to the county board. As with the Local Board of Appeal and Equalization meeting, you are able to attend the county meeting either in person or through a designated representative, appeal by mail is not allowed at the county level.

Finally, if you are dissatisfied with the result at the county level, you can appeal to the Minnesota Tax Court.

There are deadlines within which you must pursue the review or appeal of your assessment, and failure to timely act within these deadlines can result in the loss of your claim. Further, you are limited in the years for which you may challenge the property valuation or assessment. In addition, it may be necessary for you to obtain an appraisal of the property and to allow the county assessor to inspect your property.

Due to the rigid deadlines and complexity of the appeals process, it may be beneficial to engage the services of an attorney to represent you in your property tax appeal. Due to the legal process involved, it is important that your case is timely handled and properly presented. Attorney Matthew Steffes of Dudley and Smith, P.A. practices in this area. Dudley and Smith, P.A. has successfully represented owners of residential and commercial property in appeals of property tax valuation cases. Dudley and Smith, P.A. has obtained significant reductions in tax assessed value of property for commercial property valued at over $1 million.


This post was created by Matthew Steffes, a commercial litigator at Dudley and Smith, P.A. If you have questions about your case, please contact Mr. Steffes at 651-291-1717 or by email at Dudley and Smith, P.A. is a full service law firm with offices in St. Paul, BlaineBloomington, Burnsville, Chanhassen, White Bear Lake, and Woodbury.

The law is continually evolving and Dudley and Smith, P.A.’s blog posts should not be relied upon as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship. Postings are for informational purposes and are not solicitations, legal advice, or tax advice. A viewer of Dudley and Smith, P.A.’s blog should not rely upon any information in the blog without seeking legal counsel.