Overview of the Property Tax Process
Assessor’s Office Values and Classifies Real and Personal Property
According to state law, the value and classification of real estate are established as of January 2 and December 1 of each year. The Assessor’s Office works throughout the year to estimate the market value of each property for the following January 2nd. The January 2nd assessment forms the basis for the following year’s taxes.
Assessors base the estimate of market value on the characteristics of the property that affect market value such as size, age, condition, and basement finish, as well as special features like fireplaces, extra baths, walkouts and other factors.
Assessors conduct detailed analyses of property sales to understand local market trends. The MN Department of Revenue reviews sales information to assure that property values are fair and equitable.
Minneapolis requires an inspection of all properties at least once every five years or if there is new construction or improvements made to the property. A property’s market value may be adjusted according to sales activity in the local market, even if the property is not inspected in that year.
Assessor applies state-defined property classifications based on how your property was used in the preceding year (e.g. residential, commercial, homestead, non-homestead, apartment, farm, etc.).
All Property Owners Receive a Value Notice by March of Each Year
The Assessor mails you a Value Notice by the end of March each year stating the value and classification of your property for property taxes you will pay the following year and also shows the value from the preceding year. All property owners are encouraged to review the Value Notice and determine if they agree or disagree with the stated property value.
Start by calling the appraiser’s phone number printed on the notice and discuss your concerns with them. They can provide information about how the value and classification was determined for the new assessment year and your options. If you believe an error was made, you can request the appraiser review all information to ensure the correct information was used in the appraisal process.
The next step would be to attend a Minneapolis Board of Appeal and Equalization or Open Book Meeting to appeal, discuss, and learn how the value and classification was determined. If you feel an error was made, you can schedule a meeting to review the information which was used in the appraisal.
Lastly, if you believe the assessment of your property is incorrect, there are ways for you to appeal. You may hire a private property appraiser to complete an appraisal of your property and present it for the City’s review, or appeal to the Minnesota Tax Court. For more details on appealing your assessment see the appeal process.
Local Government Entities Establish Their Budgets
Local governments are required by law to hold a public meeting and state the maximum increase amount of the property tax levy that they plan to approve for the following year. These discussions usually occur in late August or early September, as local government entities are required to vote and establish the maximum levy increase by mid-September. The tax levy might end up being less than what is announced, but cannot be above the announced amount.
Local government entities such as the school district and the City of Minneapolis — work on next year's budgets in the spring and summer of the previous year.
If you have an interest in local government budgets or how your tax dollars are spent, you should check for the dates and locations of public hearings and meetings and contact your taxing authorities to participate in the budget process. Additionally, you might want to attend a budget workshop or budget planning session of the local government entities.
Each of the local government entities budgets includes a section assigning a certain portion of the cost of doing business (providing programs and services to residents) to the property tax levy, or the total amount that government body needs from taxpayers to pay for its activities next year.
After local governments complete their budget hearings, their proposed budget requirements are submitted for processing.
Assessor's Office Calculates the Following Year's Estimated Property Taxes for Each Property in the City
These amounts are not subjective. The amounts are mathematical computations that are completed and re-checked by computers and experienced staff.
When all of the proposed budgets are completed for each local government entity, Proposed Tax Statements, commonly referred to as Truth-In-Taxation statements are printed and mailed after November 10th but before November 25th to each property owner in the City of Minneapolis.
Proposed Tax Statements are not a bill; it's a notice of how your property taxes will change if all of the local taxing entities approve the changes to property tax amounts they are considering. The statement lists the current year amounts and the proposed amounts. These statements also list times and locations for "Truth in Taxation" meetings, which are held annually by each local government to allow for public comment on the proposed property tax amounts.
The annual Truth in Taxation meetings are your last opportunity to affect decisions made by local government officials about their proposed budgets for next year, including the amount in property taxes they believe are needed to provide programs and services.
Local Government Entities Approve Their Final Budgets for the Next Year
The last steps in the budget process occur within a few days of December 20th each year. Local governments must approve their final budgets for the next year in December, and convey the financial requirement information to be used when preparing the final property tax calculations.
The "actual" Property Tax Statements - not "proposed" anymore - are mailed to each property owner by late March for property taxes that are to be paid that year.
For most property owners, property taxes are due in two payments each year, one by May 15th and one by October 15th. Visit the Hennepin County web site for payment options.
Visit the Hennepin County Website for more information about property values, descriptions, and property taxes.
Last updated Jan. 10, 2013