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Last Updated: 3/6/2012

Duties of the County Assessor, Auditor and Treasurer in Contamination Taxes

The county (or city) assessor:

  • Grants market value reductions as the result of a court order or a board of review action.
  • Determines the appropriate market value reduction, if any, in response to a taxpayer’s petition or request. The reduction for contaminants must be based upon an appraisal method or methods specifically designed or intended to adjust for the valuation effects of the presence of contaminants.
  • Determines the contamination value of parcels of real property that have received market value reductions for the assessment year because of the presence of contaminants. The contamination value is equal to the market value reduction for the assessment year. The contamination value cannot be greater than the estimated cost of implementing a reasonable response action plan or asbestos abatement plan for the property. If the market value reduction for the parcel is less than $10,000, the contamination value is zero.
  • Provides notice of the contamination value to the property owner by the later of June 1 of the assessment year or 30 days after the reduction in market value is finally granted by a court, by a board of review, or by the assessor.
  • Reviews documents received from property owners and determine the appropriate tax rate to apply to the contamination value of each affected parcel.
  • Notifies the county auditor of the following information by the separate tax rate categories for each parcel of property subject to contamination taxes within the assessor's jurisdiction: (a) the contamination value, (b) the property class, and (c) the class rate percentage.
  • Reports contamination market value and contamination net tax capacity data on the Abstract of Assessment of Real and Personal Property.

Note: The county board may reimburse municipalities for the contamination tax-related services provided by assessors employed by the municipality.

The county auditor:

  • Determines the contamination tax for each parcel of property subject to the tax by multiplying the appropriate contamination tax rate by the class rate for the property times the contamination value for the property.
  • Reports contamination net tax capacity data, contamination tax data, and number of contaminated parcels by the four different contamination tax rates on the Abstract of Tax Lists.
  • Prepares the parcel specific notices for the affected property owners with the language concerning the contamination tax. 

The county treasurer:

  • Prepares the property tax statements for the affected property owners, including the line for the contamination tax and the amount of the tax.
  • Distributes the collections of the contamination taxes (those based on the 100% and 25% tax rates) to the local taxing districts in the same manner and at the same time as property taxes, leaving the state general tax out of the apportionment calculations.
  • Pays the state's 95% share of the collections of the contamination taxes (those based on the 50% and 12.5% tax rates) to the Commissioner of Revenue at the same time as provided for property tax distributions to counties, cities, towns, and special taxing districts under M.S. 276.11 and 276.111.


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