Category Archives: board of appeal



Chairman Glenford Williamson, Sr. called the meeting to order at 10 a.m. at the Wilma Town Hall with the Pledge of Allegiance.  Also present were Supervisor Michael McCullen, Clerk Paul Raymond,  Wilma Township Assessor Robert Brewster, Pine County Assessor Representative Lonna Meier, and Eric Ternes, Joe Vink, Eldon and Marjorie Schmedeke, and Carl Kratzke.

Paul read the record of last year’s Board of Equalization.  Mike moved to approve; Glen seconded.

First up, Eric Ternes, Parcel 32.00166.002 and .003, south on Crooked Lake Road, the last parcels at the end of the road.  His first parcel, .002, has no utilities or water.  There is a 10’x56’ mobile home and a pole garage.  Bob checked his assessment and said that it should be appraised with only a 25% site amenity, not 100%, so there should be a ¾ reduction on the trailer.  The parcel is on the west side of Crooked Creek, with 125 acres high ground, 20 acres swamp.  Eric says no one stays in the mobile home and he will dismantle it if it can’t be reclassified.  It is now valued at $2,000, $1,000 for the roof cover, for an annual tax of about $20.  Bob is willing to cut the trailer to half, or $1,000. Eric said he wants 45 acres designated swamp instead of the current 20.  Bob said that high ground is valued at $1,425/acre according to the sales study.  Lonna said that based on all sales from October 2008 to Oct. 2009 the high ground price was lowered $75 from $1,500/acre.  Swamp land is $575/acre.  Bob said that for the two sales  in Wilma Township during the sales study period the county was 6 ½% too high.

Eric just bought the adjoining 42 acres with a furnished cabin.  It has two bedrooms but is assessed for three, and two bathrooms, but it has 1 and a half.  This was appraised at $263,800 last year and $235,100 this year.  He paid $195,000 for it complete.  Bob says he can’t base an assessment on what anyone paid; some get good deals and some pay more than the land is worth.  Mike said these above value sales hurt everyone, driving all values up.  The county does not count foreclosures and bankruptcies.  Bob said they could reduce the bedrooms and the baths to one ½.  There are 10 acres swamp; Bob said this could be closer to 15 acres.  Lonna said that swamp must be wet year around and incapable of growing trees. They also have a pasture/timber class called “fair” that is a little less than high ground.

Lonna asked Eric if he knew about the managed forest classification.  Eric said he already has some land in this, and would like to enroll 42 more acres in sustainable forest.  The requirements have changed to require a forester to come out and inspect the land.  Lonna said that with the new legislation, the foresters are deluged with requests.  The requirements are that it be wooded and not subdivided, and the owner gets a rebate, but has to report it as income.  It’s run by the Minnesota Dept. of Revenue.  Bob said that if the swamp is increased by 5 acres it could be a difference of around $4,250, from $235,100 to $230,000

Next, Eldon and Marjorie Schmedeke, Parcel 32.0008 on the Pete Anderson Road. He asked if he was being assessed more because this land is on the section line, because the assessor had asked him if this was on a section line.   Bob said no, but it is at the section lines at the northern and western tiers where adjustments are made.  This land had a $68,900 value in 2009; $81,300 in 2010; and for 2011 it is $74,000, and Eldon wants it reduced to $68,000.   Eldon said he would have appealed last year, but couldn’t attend the meeting.  Eldon does have a recorded easement into the land, and this site amenity makes it worth more.

Eldon had another parcel, in Section 12, the SE ¼ of the SW ¼, which was valued at $94,100 last year but is now $84,200.   It is now $2,100 per acre, and he thinks it should be $1,900 based on land he sold nearby.  McDermott Creek goes through the property and is on the county road.  Bob said there has to be a factual reason to change the value of any parcel, and waterfront properties are going very high.

Mike asked if they take into consideration private assessments?  Lonna said they like to see these private assessments, but without sales they don’t change the township values.  Also private appraisers use foreclosure sales and bankruptcies, and out-of-county sales, which the county doesn’t.  Lonna said that land closer to I-35 corridor is appraised higher, and land south is higher. We are higher than Arna and even higher than New Dosey.  Rock Creek land is $2,150/acre.

Carl Kratzke, Parcel 32.00126:  On the South Duncan Road.  Carl said it used to be classified as timber and is now seasonal/recreational and rural/vacant.  Lonna said they count the first 10 acres as recreational if there are buildings, and the rest as rural/vacant land.  Carl said it’s been filed for sustainable forest since 1999; they have 240 acres in sustainable acres.  There is a small mobile home valued at $1,897, and a junkier one. Carl said he thought the buildings were appraised at $5,000 value.  The total assessed value is $341,700, the land $338,000 and buildings $3,700.  Carl said he is disassembling the larger mobile home.  Bob will check it out in the fall.  Carl said he was sure the board agreed that he had 50 acres of swamp a few years ago (it’s now 20 acres swamp).   Glen and Mike checked the aerial photos and agreed that it should be 50 acres swamp.  Carl said the County Surveyor checked South Duncan Road and determined that the road is on Kratzke’s land.  They cut some of the trees on Kratzke’s land and their own land.  Bob said that Carl should not be taxed for the 6 acres of road as it is a township road.  He said the valuation can be reduced from $341,000 to $250,000 due to the road and the swamp.

Paul Raymond, Parcel 32.0138, five acres north of his section line.  Paul asked if he is being charged for a site amenity, even though the land is connected.  Bob said the site amenity was removed a few years ago.

Glen Williamson, Parcel 32.0074, on the east side of his campground. Glen said he has no access to this land and it is all bog and swamp.  Lonna said they could call it no access and take 15 acres off the high ground classification.  Because Glen could not recuse himself, Lonna said he should write to the assessor explaining the situation and get a ruling.

Thomas Desile, 120 acres on the north and west shores of Little Tamarack Lake, called the assessors, but did not attend the meeting.

William Ramsey, Parcel 32.0219.000, by Grace’s Lake.  This land is landlocked with no access except by boat or on foot.  Bob said he is not paying any site amenities and is appraised less because it is landlocked and no access, and it is as low as it can go.

Board Decisions: Eric Ternes: On the first parcel, Mike moved that it be reduced by ¾ site amenity, approximately $9,750.  Glen seconded. Glen moved to change Eric’s second parcel from 3 bedroom, 2 baths, to 2 bedrooms, 1 ½ baths, and to increase the swamp to 15 acres.  Also to change the mobile home to a storage shed.  Mike seconded.

Eldon and Marg Schmedeke: Mike said that the recorded easement makes the land worth more, and this increases the site amenity. Mike moved to change 8 acres on the NW corner across the river to no access, about a $3,200 reduction from limited access to no access.  Glen seconded.  Mike said that if they change the second parcel from swamp to no access, this would actually increase the value, so he recommended there be no change.

Carl Kratzke, S. Duncan Road: Glen moved to change the swamp to 50 acres, from 20, and to remove South Duncan Road from the tax rolls, approximately 6 acres.  Mike seconded.

William Ramsey: Glen moved that there be no change; Mike seconded.

Mike moved to adjourn; Glen seconded.   Meeting adjourned at 1 p.m.

Paul Raymond, Clerk



APRIL 15, 2009

Chairman Glenford Williamson, Sr., called the meeting to order at 10 a.m. at the Town Hall with the Pledge of Allegiance.   Also present were Supervisors Gary Vink and Michael McCullen, and Clerk Paul Raymond,  Lonna Meier from the Pine County Assessor’s Office, Township Assessor Robert Brewster, and Joseph Vink and Mike Fust.

Lonna got the Assessment Certification signed by the Supervisors.

First up was Mike Fust, representing William J. Fust and James E. Fust, Parcels 32.00112  and 32.0026, 93.8 acres.  Mike said the Assessment for both parcels was $213,300 for the land only, and $217,900 thousand for the land and buildings.   He said Bill Fust had a private surveyor assess the property and they came up with $148,000, which Mike said is a big discrepancy.  Bob explained that assessed values are always a year old, because they are required to do a sales study based on Oct. 1, 2007 to Sept. 30, 2008.  But even with this lag, a difference of almost $70,000 seems too much.   Bob said that Mike Sheehey asks that all private assessments be forwarded to the county for study.  Lonna said that the riverfront assessment for McDermott Creek may be double assessed, and that 1,300 front feet should be removed.  Bob said they had  a private assessment of 160 acres at $112,000, but no land in Pine County has sold for less than $1,000/acre, so this should have been at least $160,000.  Lonna said that two sales in Wilma Township, one in December, 2007, had 80 acres at $1,900/acre, and one in October, 2008, had 80 acres at $2,000/acre.  Bob said this would make the 160 acres worth $320,000.   Lonna asked Mike Fust to ask his assessor if they took into consideration the creek frontage.  Bob said to forward their assessment to Mike Sheehey at the Assessor’s Office.

Next up was Joseph Vink.   Lonna said that if any petitioner is related to a member of the Board, that if there is not a quorum of Supervisors without this Supervisor, that the petition cannot be heard but must be forwarded to the County Assessor.   Gary Vink recused himself, but with Mike McCullen and Glen Williamson, the Board still had a quorum.

Parcel 32.0053, one acre with the cabin at the corner of Eagle Head Road.  This was appraised at $100,000.    Bob said this seems high.  The land alone is $24,000.   By law the first acre of any property, no matter how many acres, is assessed at $16,000 if it is on a road with access and site amenities.  The land is $8,000 and utilities $16,000 = $24,000.  The first acre is classified as small lots, so the land is $24,000.   Bob said that 3 years ago the estimated market value was $102,000, last year at $100,000 and this year (for 2010 taxes) $97,000, so it has gone down.  The cabin is 40′ x 25′, with a closed porch, which is classified as unimproved and cold.  There is also a newer garage, 960 square feet, at $12,500, and a small lawn shed at $500.  Bob said there are two kinds of log cabins, real logs and long siding.  Bob said he knows the logs are deteriorating and cracking.  Also the forced air heating should be changed to convection.  Lonna said they’ve already rated the cabin as low as it can go, and it is fully depreciated.  The only area for change is abnormal physical deterioration, and for functional or unique depreciation they could take some off.

Second parcel, 32.0055, the north farm.  80 acres.  Joe said it went up 9.6%.   Bob said that in 2009 it was $158,000 but for 2010 it will be $153,700, so it has gone down $4,600.  Lonna said the shed is valued at  $300 but also has a $16,500 utility value for the building site and the electric utilities.  Joe said there is only a driveway, no electricity.  Bob said this is his error and can reduce the site by ¼, which will reduce it $3,250.

Third parcel, 32.0141, the south farm, 200 acres.  The buildings (barn, house and trailer) are valued at $400 total.  There is a 1-acre site amenity.  The gravel pit is closed off.  18 acres are swamp.  Two acres are for the road (1/2 mile).  It is valued as a half-site with electricity.  179 acres are high ground; 17 acres tillable.  The value went down from $305,000 to $299,000 for 2010.

Glen Williamson recused himself to appeal Parcel 32.20180, 4.7 acres on River Cabin Road.   It is appraised with a building and driveway.   Glen said his neighbor owns the driveway.  He has no buildings.  Bob said it may have been recorded wrong originally.   Parcel 180 is recorded as Craig Menson’s, not Glen’s.  Bob said he doesn’t trust the fire numbers, so goes by his odometer readings.  Lonna said the error may be in the Auditor’s transfer.  Glen asked what he should do on May 15, since he’s being taxed on a pole barn he does not have.  Lonna said he should pay the tax and then appeal to the assessor to run an abatement to have it adjusted.  He may be able to get up to three years of refunds, and this adjustment can be added to the other guy for up to six years.  Glen has owned it since 2002, and has been paying the wrong tax all along.  Only the Assessor can approve refunds.


Mike Fust: Bob recommended that 1,400 front feet of river be removed.  $44,000 will be removed but $14,000 will be added, so the actual adjustment will be a $34,000 reduction.  Mike McCullen moved that the Fust appraisal be reviewed by Bob Brewster to reduce the river frontage from 2,720′ to 1,320′ and that their private appraisal be forwarded to the County Assessor for him to rule.   Glen seconded.  Gary did not vote.

Joe Vink: Cabin at Eagle Head Road:  Glen moved that Bob go back and make an adjustment on the heating and cabin condition, and that the Board accept whatever recommendation the assessor makes.   Mike seconded.   Gary did not vote.

Vink North Farm:  Mike moved to lower the site amenity by one-fourth, $3,250.  Glen seconded.   Gary abstained.

Vink South Farm:  Glen moved that there be no change.   Mike seconded; Gary abstained.

Glen Williamson: River Cabin Road, R32080.004:  This will be reviewed by the County Auditor and Recorder.  Gary moved that Glen contact the County Assessor to have it recorded correctly and to receive an abatement of incorrect taxes paid.  Mike seconded.  Glen abstained.

There were no letters, but Lonna found a case in the office, James Bredesen.  He has a capped basement, but his appraisal went up to $92,000 from $39,000, but had made no changes.  She said it should be entered as a house, but should remove the finished basement.  This increase was likely a clerical error, and Bob agreed that it should be returned to the same as last year.   Lonna said she refigured it at $33,000.   Mike McCullen moved that the assessment be changed from $92,200 to $33,000.   Glen seconded.  Lonna said that when they make a change like this that they notify the taxpayer of the adjustment.

Glen thanked Lonna and Bob for their work and participation, and Mike Fust and Joe for coming in.   Bob said he would go to the Vink cabin after the meeting to reevaluate it.   Glen moved to adjourn the meeting.  Gary seconded.   Meeting adjourned at 12 noon.

Paul Raymond, Clerk