Washington County

Appraisal Topics

The Washington County Assessor's Office is responsible for establishing the market value and determining classification (use) of property located within Washington County. The Assessor's Office also maintains the County's property database and is the primary source of property information for interdepartmental and community use.

Appraisal Process

How often must the appraiser review my property?

Under Minnesota Statute 273.08, the appraiser is required to physically review each property at least once every five years. The appraiser may visit your property at shorter intervals for any of the following reasons:

  • New construction as a result of a permit - may stop each year until the work is completed
  • Appeals - for example, as part of an appeal to the Local Board or a tax petition
  • Owner Request
  • Verifying Information - if an error is found or incorrect value is on the record

Why must the appraiser view the inside of the property?

  • Document unique characteristics that contribute to the total value
  • Determine the quality and condition of the property

Am I notified when my property is going to be appraised?

  • Postcards are mailed a few weeks before the appraiser will be working in your area
  • Appointments can be scheduled with the appraiser
  • Each appraisal walk-through will take about 10-15 minutes
  • Appraiser will try to answer your questions during the walk-through

What happens if I do not let the appraiser in my home?

  • For a fair and equitable assessment, it is best for the appraiser to review the interior of your home
  • Without an interior review, the appraiser will make a value estimate
  • Any changes to a value that was estimated will require an interior inspection

Will the appraiser be able to tell me what the value of my property is at the conclusion of my appointment?

  • No. Values are calculated in January of each year
  • You will receive your value notice in March of the following year

Appraisal Staff

Who are the property appraisers and what training do they have?

  • Professional appraisers that are certified and licensed by the State Board of Assessors
  • Certification requires experience and continuing education through:
    • University of MN
    • International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO)
    • Minnesota Association of Assessing Officers (MAAO)
    • Other Organizations (e.g., Appraisal Institute, Kaplan)

Market Value and Appeals

What is market value?

Minnesota statute 273.03 defines market value as "...the usual selling price at the time of assessment." The Assessor's Office works throughout the year to establish market values of each property for the following January 2nd assessment date.

How is market value determined?

  • Characteristics of each property is entered into a computerized system, which aids the assessor in establishing market value
  • Characteristics are collected and/or verified at least once every five years by members of the assessing staff - during the reappraisal process or when reviewing new construction
  • Market value estimated by the Assessor's Office should be at or very close to the amount the property would sell for if placed on the open market

How the Assessor Estimates Your Market Value? (pdf)

Why market values may change from year to year?

  • Economic conditions affecting the local housing market
  • Physical changes made to your property may affect market value
  • All factors are considered in estimating the value of a property

Am I notified about my market value?

  • In late March, valuation notices are mailed for each taxable parcel in the county
  • This notice provides you the opportunity to review your valuation and classification
  • Classification is based on how the property is used (for example: A property may be residential homestead (owner occupied), residential non-homestead (not owner occupied), agricultural or commercial)

What should I do if I feel my market value or classification is incorrect?

There are two avenues of appeal:

The 3-Step Appeal:

  1. Property owners who have questions or concerns regarding their market value or classification of their property are encouraged to contact the appraiser responsible for their area by calling (651) 430-6175.
    • In most cases, an interior inspection will be necessary
    • Most concerns can be resolved after speaking to an appraiser
  2. If your questions or concerns are not resolved after talking to your appraiser, you may appear before the Local Board of Appeal and Equalization or appeal to the County Board of Appeal and Equalization. PLEASE REFERENCE YOUR VALUATION NOTICE OR CALL YOUR APPRAISER TO FIND OUT THE TIME AND PLACE OF THE MEETING HELD IN YOUR COMMUNITY!
    • Appeals can be made in person, by representative or by written request (letter)
  3. If property owners are not satisfied with the action taken by the Local Board of Appeal and Equalization, they may appear before a second board: The County Board of Appeal and Equalization*
    • Deadline to be put on the agenda for the County Board of Appeal and Equalization is May 18, 2016
    • The 2016 County Board of Appeal and Equalization is scheduled for June 14, 2016

    *Property owners who appeal their assessments to the County Board of Appeal and Equalization must have first appeared before their Local Board of Appeal and Equalization, if they choose to have their grievances acted upon by this Board.

If property owners still feel aggrieved as a result of the action (or inaction) taken by this Board, they may file a petition in Minnesota Tax Court. All MN Tax Court appeals must be filed on or before April 30th of the year the tax becomes due.

The 1-Step Appeal:

  • This process bypasses both the Local Board of Appeal and Equalization and the County Board of Appeal and Equalization
  • Owner appeals directly to the Minnesota Tax Court
  • The same filing requirements and deadlines appeal to all property owners who choose this route

MN Tax Court
25 Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Minnesota Judicial Center #245
St Paul, MN 55115
(651)539-3260

www.taxcourt.mn.us

Appealing the Value or Classification of Your Property (pdf)

Preparing an Appeal to Your Local/County Boards of Appeal and Equalization (pdf)

My House is Worth What? (pdf)

Homestead Market Value Exclusion

Applying for Homestead Market Value Exclusion

Disabled Veterans - Market Value Exclusion on Homestead Property

Property Tax

Property Tax Programs