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Cook County Connections: 2023 Cook County Property Assessments

Apr 28, 2023 09:00AM ● By Content Editor
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From Cook County, Minnesota - April 28, 2023

By: Bob Thompson, Cook County Assessor


Most Cook County Property Owners have received their 2023 Property Tax Statements and 2023 Valuation Notices (for taxes in 2024). The 2023 Valuation Notice contains 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.

For the 2023 assessment, the overall valuation increase on residential homes and cabins in Cook County was about 12%, in 2022 the increase was roughly 32%. In northern Minnesota, preliminary assessment data reflects that average county-wide residential valuation increases of 10-15% are common.

Our real estate market remains strong with demand still outpacing supply. As of mid-April 2023, there were 44 available properties in Cook County, with only ten of the listings having improvements. Only three improved properties under $500k are available (two homes and a business) and no homes or cabins are listed below $300k. For comparison, at the same time Lake County had 100 available listings, 62 of those having improvements and more than ten available homes or cabins under $200k throughout their county.

Given the scarcity of available properties, I am seeing more ‘For Sale by Owner’ transactions and several ‘Word-of-Mouth’ transactions. Another trend is an increase in what I consider high-dollar transactions; In our 2019 sales ratio study there were three transactions over one million dollars. There was only one in the 2020 study, six in the 2021 study and ten in the 2022 study. A little over halfway through our 2023 study, ten Cook County transactions over one million dollars have already occurred (between October 1, 2022, and mid-April 2023).

The last notable trend I want to discuss is what’s happening with rural vacant land in Cook County. Rural vacant land is land that has never been platted, subdivided, or developed and typically is of 40-acres or more. For the 2023 assessment, property classified as rural vacant land in Cook County was increased a total of 19.43%. As an example, an April 2023 land sale of 100 acres in Schroeder was assessed at 51% of its sale price, despite a 49% valuation increase since 2020. Another 220 acres in Schroeder sold in March 2023, this property was assessed at 68% of the sale price, this property’s assessed value had been increased 57% since the 2020 assessment.

Since most Cook County property values have increased for the 2023 assessment, how will that affect future property tax bills?

There is a common misconception that increasing property values means 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 for more information on the M1PR form. This form is due August 15, but you may be able to file up to one year after the due date.

Minnesota lawmakers have been discussing expanding the property tax relief programs during the 2023 legislative session, so that more relief is available to those who need it. I encourage all homesteaded taxpayers to complete and submit the property tax refund forms to the Department of Revenue every year, even if you have not qualified in the past.

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.

County Connections is a column on timely topics and service information from your Cook County government. Cook County – Supporting Community Through Quality Public Service.

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