WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF APPEAL/EQUALIZATION
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