Assessor

Responsibilities
The County Assessor is responsible for identifying, listing, and valuing all taxable property, both real and personal, for ad valorem tax purposes. The assessor is required to classify property based on its current use (such as residential, commercial, agricultural, etc.). It is also the responsibility of the assessor to make sure that each assessment is completed in a uniform and equalized manner, insuring that the taxpayers are receiving fair and equitable treatment.

Assessors are authorized to list and appraise property annually. The listing and reappraisal of at least 1/5 of the parcels each year is the minimum required by law. Therefore, each parcel is reappraised at maximum intervals of 5 years.

In a situation where there is new construction or improvements, the property is valued using the percentage of completion (as of January 2 of the assessment year) of the new construction or improvements. All parcels of real property not exempt, even though their value may be nominal, are to be assessed.

Parcel Use Classification
The Assessor determines the classification of each parcel, based on its use. For instance, property may be:
  • Agricultural homestead
  • Agricultural non-homestead
  • Commercial
  • Residential homestead
  • Residential non-homestead
  • Seasonal recreational residential non-homestead
  • Several other classifications
Each classification is taxed at a different percentage of market value, which is set by the Minnesota State Legislature.

Property Value
Trends in the real estate market due to supply and demand, interest rates, local economic conditions, and tax laws affect the value of property. If a house is maintained in a normal manner, it usually will increase in value.

For assessment purposes, anything that adds value to a property will increase its estimated market value. Examples of items that will increase estimated market value are:
  • Basement finish
  • Extensive remodeling
  • Garages and additions
Valuation notices are mailed every spring to every property owner in Kittson County. The assessment on January 2 forms the basis for the following year’s real estate taxes. That is, the value and classification set by the Assessor on January 2 of the current year is used to calculate the taxes payable for the following year.