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Budget, tax levy meetings are not the place to argue property values

Property tax statements were mailed out to property owners in Carlton County last month and opened to mixed reactions, depending on whether the tax payments went up or down in most cases.

Should property owners be tempted to attend the various budget and levy meetings listed on the their tax statement to appeal their taxes, Carlton County Assessor Kyle Holmes warns that the time to appeal the actual assessment of the property was last spring when the bright yellow preliminary property tax assessments arrived in the mail.

“The meetings now are to talk about taxes and levies only, not valuation of someone’s property,” Holmes said. “We’re eight months beyond that time.”

Although it’s too late to argue the assessed value of a property for 2016 taxes payable in 2017, Holmes said property owners who want to argue the county’s assessed value of their property can call his office and request the assessment be reviewed for the next year, for 2017 taxes payable in 2018.

Many Thomson Township/Esko and Scanlon residents likely saw a jump in their assessed value, which means higher taxes, because the county assessor’s office reappraised every property over the past year and a half.

“We went door-to-door in Esko the summer of 2015,” Holmes said, noting that outside of Cloquet, Thomson Township consistently has the most active and strongest real estate market. “The values there just keep going up,” he added.

The county is nearly finished reappraising homes and businesses in the Cloquet area, he said, noting that property owners in Cloquet will likely see more dramatic changes when they get their preliminary assessment next spring.

If a home or business owner disagrees with that assessment in the spring, the time to appeal that is at the local jurisdiction’s hearing in April. If they disagree with the ruling there, the property owner can go to the county board’s board of appeal and equalization meeting in June. They most attend the first meeting to go to the second one, he stressed.

Holmes said real estate sales are picking up and increasing in value almost everywhere in the county.