The Cottonwood County Assessor's Office is responsible for the appraisal of all real estate, personal property, and mobile homes within the county. The market value and classification of property is based upon its use as of January 2 of each year in accordance with the law. In addition to valuation and classification of properties, the county assessor's office conducts statistical studies of market value ratios, prepares appraisal reports for the County Board and Tax Court, and advise municipalities and the County Board on assessment issues.
The County Assessor's Office is one of the few departments in the county where the county assessor is appointed to a four-year term by the County Board of Commissioners and is approved by the Commissioner of Revenue, rather than being an elected position. Stringent training and experience requirements are set by the State Board of Assessors which governs and administers the license of assessors. All assessors, whether county, staff or local, must be licensed in order to estimate market values for property tax purpose.
Specific duties include, but are not limited to:
- Determine the use of each property and assigns a classification based on that use.
- Determine the homestead status of the property.
- Determine the ad valorem appraised value of each property.
- Calculate the tax capacity of each property.
- Notify taxpayers annually of the classification and market value of their property.
- Assist Local Boards and County Boards with Equalization meetings.
- Answer property tax questions.
The County Assessor's Office has market value information to all parcels of real estate in Cottonwood County. Most of the information is available to any interested party. This office is responsible for determining which properties are eligible for homestead benefits, as well as the exemption classification. Some property qualifies for a homestead classification if it is owner occupied or if it is occupied by a qualifying relative of the owner. Properties that qualify for tax exemption are reassessed on a six-year cycle.
The Minnesota Department of Revenue continually conducts audits of the work completed by the Assessors office to assure that the work completed in the office is in compliance with the rules and regulations set forth by the State Legislature and by the Department of Revenue that determines the duties and functions of the County Assessor's Office.
As of July 1, 2012, the Cottonwood County Assessor's Office is under "True County Assessor" status. Cottonwood County staff will be responsible for the assessing of all jurisdictions in the county. All of the assessing is done by a highly trained staff of professional appraisers who are all licensed Minnesota assessors.
The assessment process is multi-year and involves many steps, but it is still even just one small part of the entire property tax process. The following, very generally, summarizes the entire property tax process.
This assessment portion of the property tax process can be divided into two areas:
- Assessments - This is when properties are valued and classified based on property characteristics, use, and details and also considers sales related to local real estate market conditions.
- Taxes - This is the actual amount of taxes paid by the properties each year. It is based on local budgeting decisions as well as the property's value and classification. It may also include special assessments.
900 3rd Avenue
Windom, MN 56101
David Grev, SAMA