WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF APPEAL AND EQUALIZATION, APRIL 10, 2017
Chairman Glen Williamson called the meeting to order at 1 pm at the Wilma Town Hall with the Pledge of Allegiance. County Assessor Kelly Schroeder and Wilma Assessor Bob Brewster attended, plus Supervisors Mike McCullen and Gary Vink and Clerk Paul Raymond.
Paul read the record of last year’s Board of Equalization. Kelly corrected the record that the assessor must keep our values within the 90% – 105% range of county assessments, not 95% – 105% as the record stated. With this correction, Gary moved to approve; Mike seconded.
There were no property owners with appeals, and no letters of appeal were received. Mike had a question about parcels that are reclassified from agricultural homestead to high ground and have their taxes doubled, including township taxes; does the town get that extra revenue? Kelly said that the town receives the same total amount they levied, but that if someone pays more, everyone else will pay less.
Glen asked a theoretical question about his campground; if he were to sell it or shut down the campground, how would the taxes change? Kelly said that the 68 improved full-service sites with water, septic and electricity would still be assessed, even if they were vacant, but the taxes would go down a little. Mike asked what the RVL classification means. Kelly said it is Rural Vacant, a new classification made in 2009 for any non-farm acreage over 20 acres, for improved properties.
Mike asked if he planted corn could he get an agricultural classification. Bob said a minimum of 10 acres is required.
Assessor Certification: Gary is good through 2020, but this is Glen’s last year to be certified. Kelly said he can get the training on-line or possibly at the township summer short course. There is a law requiring township assessors to be trained in commercial assessments, even if the towns they assess have no commercial properties or so few that the county assessor can easily do them, like with Wilma and the camp and store. When it takes effect in two years, Bob will not be able to do our assessments. Bob said Senator Tony Lourey is fighting this bill, and Kelly said there are now four competing bills to either remove this requirement or extend the current requirements. One is to get rid of the law totally. One is so it does not go into effect until 2022 (instead of 2019). Another proposal is that it does not affect anyone who was working prior to 2010 (I started in 2004). There are many different proposals. Paul said our board just attended the spring short course for the MN Association of Townships and they didn’t even mention this in the legislative update. He will write to them to add this to their legislative lobbying at the statehouse, and to discuss it at the Legal Short Course on April 20, since this affects many townships. Bob said that in about 2/3 of all 87 counties in Minnesota, the county does all of the assessing. There are no township assessors at all. The only reason we have township assessors here is because our Pine County Board allows it. We are in the minority. Maybe this is why MAT is not very involved. Bob said the increased training would affect 600 local assessors, and they have no way to offer training to that many people by the deadline.
Gary moved to adjourn; Mike seconded. Meeting adjourned at 1:35 p.m.
Paul Raymond, Clerk
Attested to: Glen Williamson, Chair