COUNTY CONNECTIONS: 2022 Cook County Property AssessmentsApr 08, 2022 01:38PM ● By Editor
We wanted to reach out as most Cook County Property Owners have been receiving their 2022 Property Tax Statements. Please don’t confuse this with the 2022 Valuation Notice (for taxes in 2023), which will be arriving in mailboxes in the coming weeks of April. The Tax Statement and Value Notice were not mailed together in 2022, as they have been in past years.
We felt it was important to mail the Valuation Notice separately to focus more attention on the proposed valuation and classification changes in 2022. The 2022 Property Valuation Notice will contain important information on the Assessor’s estimated market value & classification and will provide instructions on how a taxpayer can appeal, if they feel the information is incorrect.
Lately there has been a lot of conversation in Cook County about issues such as affordable housing, the scarcity of available properties and rising real estate values. Most property types in Cook County have increased in value over the past 18 months. The data suggest that some property types, such as platted residential vacant land, have just recently seen price increases while others, like improved lakeshore properties, have been seeing rapid price increases for multiple years.
Statewide, preliminary assessment data reflect that average county-wide residential valuation increases of 20% or more are common. In Northern Minnesota, many counties are reporting that the assessment numbers in Cook County are also reflective of their counties, where 20%-30% value increases are common.
One process of review that Assessors perform is an analysis of properties that have sold two or more times during the assessor’s sales study period. One example of this in Cook County is a vacant Lake Superior lot in Schroeder which sold for $255,000 in October 2020 (the first month in our current study period); that property sold again on January 4, 2022 (two days after the 2022 assessment date) for $450,000. There were no improvements or changes to this property, and it sold for 76% more in 2022 than in 2020. While this example is an extreme, the trend of increasing value is consistent across all property types in Cook County.
Since most Cook County property values have increased for the 2022 assessment, how will that affect future property tax bills? There is a common misconception that increasing property values mean local governments collect more in tax revenue; this is not the case. The amount of tax dollars levied has a direct correlation to operational expenses of the levying authorities (County, City/Twp., School, Hospital) and any related increases over the previous budget. Think of the total budget as ‘the price of the pie’, then each property’s assessed value & classification could be thought of as it’s ‘slice of the pie’.
Several options may exist for Cook County residents who see increases to their tax bill: the Minnesota property tax refund programs and the senior citizen property tax deferral to name a few. These programs are for owner-occupied properties with a homestead classification and individuals that pay rent. One refund is based off income, the other ‘special refund’ is based off the amount of tax increase over the previous year. Talk to your tax professional or visit the Minnesota Department of Revenue’s website (https://www.revenue.state.mn.us) for more information on the M1PR form. This form is due August 15, 2022, but you may be able to file up to one year after the due date.
Additional information, including a short video, can be found on the Cook County Assessor’s webpage. Accessing this resource will help taxpayers better understand the assessment process, it will provide a basic overview on how market values may affect future property tax bills, and it will assist taxpayers in properly preparing for an appeal.
For additional information, please call at the Cook County Assessor Department at 218-387-3650 or visit: https://co.cook.mn.us/government/departments/assessor.
County Connections is a column on timely topics and service information from your Cook County government. Cook County – Supporting Community Through Quality Public Service