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Last Updated: 3/6/2012

Levy and Collection of Contamination Taxes

Contamination taxes are to be collected at the same time and in the same manner as property taxes. In other words, contamination taxes go on the property tax statements.

However, contamination taxes are not to be shown on Truth in Taxation parcel specific notices. The Truth in Taxation parcel specific notice sent to each property owner subject to the contamination tax must contain a statement that the proposed and final taxes do not include the contamination tax imposed on properties which received market value reductions for contamination. In order to avoid confusion, this statement should not be pre-printed on all notices. It should only be computer-printed on those notices sent to property owners that are subject to the contamination tax. The Department of Revenue’s yearly instructions for developing Truth in Taxation parcel specific notices contain the language to be used if contamination taxes apply to the parcel.

The contamination tax is to be printed on the property tax statement. Under current law provisions, the location is in with special assessments. Nothing is to be pre-printed for the contamination tax. The words "Contamination Tax" and the amount should be computer printed if contamination taxes apply. The contamination tax is not to be included on lines 1 through 12 of the property tax statement since it is not a property tax and is not eligible for a property tax refund or targeting.

Contamination taxes are subject to the same penalty, interest, lien, forfeiture, and other collection provisions that apply to property taxes.

M.S. 279.01, Subd. 1 authorizes a county treasurer to accept payments of more or less than the exact amount of a tax installment due. However, the taxpayer cannot direct that the payment includes only the property tax, only the contamination tax, or that it excludes one taxing district’s share of the contamination tax. The taxpayer cannot direct how the tax payment is to be apportioned. The county treasurer should except the payment only with the taxpayer’s understanding that the payment will be apportioned in accordance with the law, not in accordance with the taxpayer’s wishes.

Delinquent contamination taxes are to be included in the same published listing that shows delinquent real property taxes. The published listing of delinquent real property taxes must include all amounts on the property tax statement remaining unpaid, along with penalties. This includes real property taxes, as well as any special assessments, service charges, or contamination taxes.

If a reduction in market value that creates contamination value is granted after the property tax has already been paid, the contamination tax must be subtracted from the amount of property tax to be refunded to the property owner.

If a court orders a reduction in market value because of the presence of contaminants on the property, the court must include in its order an offset for payment of the tax on contamination value.

Next Section: Reporting of Contamination Values and Taxes
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