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Last Updated: 10/26/2017

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Property Tax Administrators

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Property Tax Administrators > Valuation and Assessment

  • Can I make changes to the valuation notice format?Back to top

    To facilitate statewide uniformity, you should not alter the format of the valuation notice.

  • How do you qualify as an agricultural homestead?Back to top

    In most cases, a property qualifies as an agricultural homestead if it has at least 10 acres of property being used to produce an “agricultural product” (as defined in statute) for sale and is being occupied as the owner’s principle place of residence.  In some cases a property of less than 10 acres may qualify if it is being used intensively or exclusively for “agricultural purposes” (as defined in statute).​

  • What is a sales ratio?Back to top

    The law requires assessors to value property at its most likely selling price. This estimated market value is divided by the sales price to get a sales ratio. The sales ratio is used to measure levels of assessment, ensure uniformity, and equalize state aid distribution.​

  • What are time adjustments?Back to top

    The assessor sets estimated market values according to market conditions as of January 2 of the study year. However, sales are occurring throughout the study period, from January 1 of the previous year to September 30 of the study year.

    Time adjustments are used to adjust the sale price to the date of assessment to reflect changes in market conditions that have occurred between the assessment date and the sale date. This makes the ratio for each sale a better representation of the accuracy of that particular assessment because it brings the two values used to calculate the ratio to the same point in time. Consequently, the median ratio better reflects the overall assessment level of that jurisdiction and is used to measure assessment quality.​

  • Why do we need time adjustments?Back to top

    The International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) identifies time adjustments as a necessary component of any sales ratio study. Minnesota Statutes, section 270.12, subdivision 2 requires that the department follow the standards set by the IAAO whenever practical.

    Time adjustments are necessary due to the distorting effect that changes in market conditions can have on ratios. For example, if values have been rising in a market and no adjustment is made for time, sales that occur before the assessment date will have higher ratios than sales occurring around the assessment date, overstating the level of appraisal. Sales occurring after the assessment date will have lower ratios and understate the assessment levels. The reverse is true in a declining market. If a disproportionate number of sales occur before or after the assessment date and no time adjustments are made, the median ratio will most likely either overstate or understate assessment levels.​