I’ve received a number of phone calls the past few days from Hennepin county duplex and investment property owners asking, “Is my duplex really worth as much as the county says?”
Needless to say, it didn’t take me long to figure out the new estimated tax statements had arrived.
What was my answer?
If you are thinking of selling your rental property, high valuations can be good news.
It is entirely possible your Hennepin County rental property is worth as much, possibly even more than the county’s valuation. The reason is the property tax you pay this year is based on its valuation as of January 2 last year.
The property valuations sent out last week, however, were determined by the properties that sold last year. So, by the time you end up paying taxes based on that amount next year, for better or worse, the value may have already changed.
Of course, the higher the valuation, the higher your property taxes.
Conversely, a low valuation is not necessarily a bad thing. Your property may, in fact, be worth considerably more. This can be caused by misinformation on the tax records, the assessor not having been through for quite some time, or that it has not been bought or sold in a considerable amount of time.
If you intend to keep the property, it is probably best to smile to yourself and not alert the county your duplex is undervalued. If you intend to sell, know that while many Realtors do check the property value on the tax records before taking a buyer through, it usually has little if any bearing on what the market will pay for it.
The good news is, there is a way to appeal your property tax valuation if it was high.
First, you should contact the local assesor with any concerns you may have. At that time, you would want to share with him or her any relevant sales information that may disprove their valuation. Most often, this will resolve the issue.
If not, you may file attend the local board of appeal and equalization or Open Book meeting. They meet in April and May. You can appeal in person, by letter or designate a representative to go on your behalf.
Following that, you may take your appeal to the county board, which gathers in June. At this point, it is recommended you appear at the meeting, but it is not required. You may also send a letter or representative.
Finally, if all else fails, you may file an appeal by April 30th of the year following the assessment with the Minnesota Tax Court.
If you have concerns about the assessed value of your property, and aren’t sure where to get records of property sales to support your position, I am happy to help.
And if you’re thinking of selling, the market remains very hot. Call me and let’s see how I can help you get you more money in less time for your duplex.