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Frequently Asked Questions about Property Assessments

What is Market Value?

A simple definition of market value is what you could sell your property for in today’s market. The sale must be an arms length transaction between a willing buyer and willing seller to fit the definition.

How Does the Assessor Measure Market Value?

By reviewing the selling prices of similar properties in local areas. A Certificate of Real Estate Value is completed on all real estate transactions and a copy filed with the Assessor. By studying the certificates, Assessors have a good idea of what other properties will sell for. Another method of determining value is based on the current cost of replacement less all depreciation that has occurred.

Why Does My Value Increase When Nothing Has Been Done to My Property?

Supply and demand create market value and Assessors measure it. As demand increases and the cost of buying a particular property increases, other property values rise also. Your property becomes worth more, even though no improvements were made and you have no intention of selling it.

Why are Lake County Lake Shore Values Increasing at Such a High Rate?

Demand for lake property has never been higher. Lake shore values in areas west and south of us, have been pushed so high that many lake shore shoppers cannot afford to buy there. By comparison, Lake County lakes are a bargain. Similar recreational quality lakes still sell for much less per front foot here than in other areas of Minnesota. Increased demand for lake shore in our area drives sale prices up rapidly.

How Close to the “Actual” Value of a Property is the Assessors Value?

According to State Statutes, properties are to be assessed at Market Value. Because it is impossible to achieve 100% of market value on every property, the acceptable range by state standards is from 90% to 105% of market.

What If I Think My Property is Over Assessed?

By all means, come in and talk to the Assessor. We welcome an opportunity to explain the assessment and listen to valid reasons why you feel your property value is too high. Assessment records are public information, and you can also compare your assessment with any other properties you choose. If you still disagree with the assessment, there are formal appeals you may take.