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Property taxes do not have a set rate like income or sales taxes. With property taxes, taxing jurisdictions determine the dollar amount to raise from property taxes. This is called the “levy.” The levy is divided by the total value of the property in the taxing jurisdiction, the “tax base,” to arrive at a tax rate. The tax rate is multiplied by the value of each individual parcel to determine each parcel’s share of property taxes.
The real estate market in Washington County and in the rest of the Twin Cities metro area has seen some of the largest gains in recent history during the past year and a half.
Sales prices paid for homes have greatly exceeded the county’s assessed values, also called estimated market value.
For example, nearly 600 home sales in Cottage Grove averaged 22% higher than the county’s assessed value, while sales in Oakdale exceeded the assessed values by nearly 18%.
Assessed values are estimates of market value based on sales in a community or neighborhood. They are required to be at or very close to the amount a property would sell for if placed on the open market as of a certain date.
A value increase does not correlate directly to an increase in property tax. Property value is only one factor that is used to determine the portion of property tax each property owner pays.
Increases in values do not generate more tax revenue. Only an official action by a taxing authority to increase the tax levy will increase the total amount collected and only the amount levied can be collected.
Call 651-430-6175 to talk to an assessor. The earlier you call, the more options you have to correct any errors.