Property taxes

Property taxes are your share of the total cost of local government, and they are used to help support a variety of valuable resources in the county, cities and schools.

Hennepin County is committed to managing that share wisely and transparently.


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How property taxes are determined

There are a number of state laws that affect both the amount of your property tax and the way it is determined.

Tax levies

Each year local governments go through a budget process to determine what services they will provide, how much these will cost, and where they will get the money. There are more than 70 local governments in Hennepin County.

After taking into account other sources of revenue (such as state paid aid, fees, etc.) the rest is levied on taxable properties. All property is located in more than one taxing district. For example, property can be in a county, city, school district and other special taxing districts. The tax rate for each taxing district is determined by the county auditor by dividing this levy by the taxable value of the property in the district.

Property value - relative to the value of all property in the district

The value of your property is determined by the assessor. Valuation reflects the estimated fair market value of the property as of January 2 of the year before taxes are due. Property owners may appeal their valuation.

Your share of the levies is based on the value of your property relative to the value of all other property in the district. If a local governments decided not to change the amount of its levy from one year to the next, your tax may go down, go up or remain the same. For example, if the value of your property doesn't change, but the values of the other properties in your district go down, your tax will increase because your share of the total value increased. Likewise, if the value of the other properties in your district go up, your tax will decrease because your share of the total value decreased.

Property use

In Minnesota, properties with the same market value will be taxed different amounts depending on how they are used. For instance, commercial property will have a higher tax than residential property of the same value. This is done by using classification rates set by the state legislature to give more weight to the value of commercial property as compared to residential property.

The major classifications of property in Hennepin County are:

  • residential
  • commercial and industrial
  • apartments
  • farms

Can I do anything to change my property tax?

There are several ways you can take part in the property tax process.

  • Attend the annual truth-In-taxation meeting to discuss how tax levies were determined for the coming year. If your district is not required to have a meeting or you cannot attend, call or write your elected officials.
  • Direct questions about your property value or its classification to your local assessor.
  • If you are concerned with spending, get involved in the budget process.
  • Contact your state representative and/or state senator, if you would like to see changes in the property tax process.
  • Why are property taxes going up?

What property taxes pay for

Services provided by more than 70 independent local governments in Hennepin County are determined each year during a budget process, with the exception of school district services (and the funding of those services), which are determined by state law or by referendum.

All property is located in more than one taxing district. For example, property can be in a county, city, school district and other special taxing districts. Your property tax statement is really seven to ten tax bills, consolidated into one statement.

Here are some common taxing districts and some of the services they provide.

County services

  • Social services
  • Public health
  • Roads and highways
  • Libraries
  • Corrections
  • Sheriff
  • Environmental services

City or town services

  • Roads and streets
  • Police and fire
  • Parks and recreation
  • Libraries
  • Building safety

School district services

  • K-12 education
  • Community education

Metropolitan Special Taxing Districts services

  • Transportation
  • Regional sewer system
  • Mosquito control (public health)

Other special taxing districts services

  • Regional parks
  • Regional railroads
  • Museums
  • Watershed management
  • Public housing

Proposed property tax notice

Proposed property tax notices (also called a Truth-in-Taxation notices) show the proposed property tax to be applied to an address if the taxing jurisdictions approve the budgets and tax levies they are considering.

2014 proposed property tax notice

The upper area of the (sample) statement identifies five key areas of information

1. The taxpayer’s name and mailing address.

2. The property’s identification number.

3. This is the situs address (the place where something, as a right, is held to be located in law) of the property.

4. (Taxable Market Value section): These are property classifications and the market values used to determine the property taxes on the property, as each appears in the records of the county at the time of printing. The taxable market value is the estimated market value, as determined by the assessor, less any exclusions or deferrals that apply to the property

5. The percentage change between the taxes payable in the current year and the proposed taxes payable in the following year.

The lower area of the statement (using columns) has five key areas identified from left to right

6. This is the address and telephone number for each taxing authority that taxpayers may call if they have questions related to the notice and an address where comments will be received by mail. (a hyperlink is provided at the top of this column for the taxing authorities websites).

7. This is the actual tax for taxes payable in the current year in total and for each taxing authority.

8. This is the amount of property taxes each taxing authority proposes to collect for taxes payable the following year, in total and by taxing authority.

9. If your school district held a referendum at the November general election, and it was approved by the voters, the tax amount may be higher than shown on the notice.

10. This is the time and place of the regularly scheduled meeting, of each taxing authority, in which the budget and levy will be discussed and the public is invited to speak at the meeting. (a hyperlink is provided at the top of this column for the listing of the taxing authorities’ meeting dates, time, and location).

Additional information

Annual notices

Each year property taxpayers receive three notices that provide information on the valuation of the property, proposed tax amounts, meetings about proposed levies and budgets, and the amount of taxes due.

Step 1: valuation notice

The first notice, a valuation notice, is sent in March each year. It shows the property classification of your property and the value that taxes will be assessed at. Properties can be classified in a variety of ways but the most common are residential and commercial. The market value of your property is determined by the assessor and is based on the classification and market conditions. This is the time when you can appeal or question how your property is classified or valued. The valuation notice includes detail about the appeal process.

Step 2: proposed taxes

The second notice you will receive is for proposed tax amounts for the following year (this notice is also called a Truth-in-Taxation notice). Sent in November, it shows the proposed tax levies for the county, city, school district and other taxing authorities, such as a watershed district. This statement also shows the amount you will owe, based on your property valuation and classification, if the proposed levies and budgets are passed. Some circumstances could change the proposed amounts: This statement includes the meeting dates where you can provide input on the proposed levies for the county, your municipality, your school district, and other taxing authorities. These meetings are commonly referred to as truth-in-taxation hearings and must occur after November 24. Once the budgets and tax levies are approved, your property tax is finalized. This amount may be different from the amount in the proposed tax statement.

See this year's sample notice in the Proposed property tax notice section of this page.

Step 3: tax statement

The final notice you receive is your tax statement. This statement shows your property tax value, the amount of taxes due, and when they are due. It also includes payment coupons which can be used when making your tax payment. It is mailed in March just before the first half of your property tax is due in May (the second half is due in October). When you receive this notice, you will also want to check with the Minnesota Department of Revenue to see if you qualify for a property tax refund.

Example

On January 2, 2010, the county assessor determines the market value and classification of your property. You receive this information in your valuation notice in March of 2010. Later in the year, during the local budgeting process, preliminary taxes for 2011 are calculated and meetings are scheduled for property owners to provide input on the proposed levies. This information comes to you in mid to late November of 2010 on your proposed property tax notice. Early in 2011, upon completion of the local budgeting process, final taxes are calculated. These itemized amounts make up your property tax statement which is sent in March of 2011.

Taxing authority websites

Cities

See complete list of cities in Hennepin County.

School districts

There are 22 independent school districts in Hennepin County.

Metro special taxing districts

Other special taxing districts

Watershed districts

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