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WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF APPEAL/EQUALIZATION, APRIL 15, 2009

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.

BOARD DECISIONS:

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

WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING March 4, 2009

WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING  March 4, 2009

Chairman Gary Vink called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance.   Also present were Supervisors Michael McCullen and Glenford Williamson, Sr., Treasurer Patrice McCullen,  and Clerk Paul Raymond.

Clerk’s Report: Paul read the record of the February meeting; Glen moved to approve; Mike seconded.

OLD BUSINESS:  Snowplowing fees: We got Alden Shute’s check for snowplowing; there had been a mixup at the bank.

Road and Bridge Levy: Cathy Clemmer, County Auditor, sent letters to the Supervisors telling them that our Road and Bridge levy for 2010 has to be at least .04835% of our total 2008 taxable market value in our township, which was $25,225,800, or $12,197.   We are asking for a levy of  $20,000, so if that passes, we will be OK.

Qwest ditching work: Qwest sent a letter asking if we required special permits to ditch and bury phone lines on township roads.   Paul responded that we wanted to be notified before any ditch work to prevent any culverts being cut.

Grader blade: We got a bill for $327.93 for the cutting edge on the wing of the blade.

Highway Dept. Bridge Inspection Report: We got a copy of the bridge inspection report for our township for bridges and culverts on county roads.

Escrow Account: Patrice went through the Escrow Account to try to reconcile our books with the bank record.  We found one deposit that had not been transferred from Escrow to Road and Bridge, from Park Falls Hardwoods.  Gary said that in 2008 we put gravel and did grading to repair Little Tamarack Lake Road for a total of $1,000, $500 from ECE and $500 from Park Falls Hardwoods.  Glen moved to make this transfer from Road and Bridge into Escrow.   Mike seconded.   After this transfer, the Escrow Account totals $4,101.75.

NEW BUSINESS:  Election Tuesday: The Township election is Tuesday, March 10, starting at 5 p.m.   Pat McCullen will need an absentee ballot; Paul will bring it to her.

Township Short Course: The closest Short Courses for this Spring are in St. Cloud March 23 or Thursday, April 2, in Grand Rapids.   Glen said the April 2 Short Course is best for him;  Paul and Patrice will also ride with him, and maybe Gary.  Mike moved that any officers who wanted to go be authorized to attend the Spring Short Course.  Gary seconded.

County Township Officers Meeting: This will be Sat. March 28, in Hinckley at 9: a.m.  There are at least two positions on the board open.    Glen said Joe Drilling is pretty ill and  may not be able to attend.  Mike said he’d heard Joe is going back to work.  Glen said the meetings pay $35 and are usually in Hinckley at Frank Grundemeir’s home.   Mileage is not reimbursed.

Board of Appeal/Equalization: This will be Wednesday, April 15, at 10 a.m. at the Town Hall.

Town Hall Repairs: Mike said this is the year we need to make repairs on the Town Hall foundation and to the Fire Hall damages from the tornado that was never properly repaired.  It’s too late to get insurance money for it, but we should have enough in the building fund to do the foundations and to re-side the Town Hall.   We can also make transfers from other funds that have a surplus.

Snowplowing: Paul will bill New Dosey and Arna for the February 27 storm snowplowing.  New Dosey, 20 minutes, $45, New Dosey’s ½ = $22.50;  Arna, 40 minutes, $100, Arna’s ½ = $50.

Dental Insurance: Glen said he would like to know about enrolling in the Township Association’s Dental Insurance Program.  Gary said we need at least two officers, and if they are willing to pay the premiums, they can sign up.  We can get the details at the Short Course.

CTAS Accounting System: Glen and Patrice will meet at Paul’s house at 1 p.m. Friday to install the CTAS Accounting Program on his computer so that both the Clerk and Treasurer can do all the town books on computer, and eliminate the old accounting ledgers.

Treasurer’s Report and Bills: Patrice presented the Treasurer’s Report (attached).  Bills were presented:

Patrice Winfield (expenses)                                  $                             7.27

ECE                                                                                                                49.36

Pine County Courier                                                                              30.08

Little Falls Machine                                                                             317.93

Michael McCullen                                                                                       24.24

Paul Raymond                                                                                  96.97

Mark Pallow                                                                                             132.08

Patrice Winfield                                                                                      242.41

Glenford Williamson, Sr.                                                                      33.47

Gary Vink                                                                                                   54.26

TOTAL ALL BILLS      $                                                                      988.97

Glen moved to pay all the bills, to approve the Treasurer’s report, and to transfer $1,000 from savings to checking.   Mike seconded.   Mike moved to adjourn the meeting; Glen seconded.   Meeting adjourned at 9 p.m.

Paul Raymond, Clerk

Board of Review, April 11, 2007

WILMA TOWNSHIP BOARD OF REVIEW (APPEAL/EQUALIZATION) APRIL 11, 2007

Chairman Gary Vink called the meeting to order at 11 a.m. at the Wilma Town Hall. Also present were Supervisors Michael McCullen and Glenford Williamson, Clerk Paul Raymond, County Assessor Lonna Meier, Wilma Assessor Bob Brewster.

Bob explained that there are four categories of land-classification: 1. high land; 2. limited access land; 3. no access land; and 4. waste/swamp. Mike asked if timber could be classified as agricultural if trees are used for harvesting or maple sugar, especially if the state mandates an increase in ethanol non-oil fuels. Lonna said the categories are not dependent on trees or lack of them.

The values are determined by sales from October 1 to September 30 in the townships and county. Wilma had two residential sales and two seasonal/farm sales. Prices haven’t gone down so much, but sales have. The residential/seasonal sales combined ratios were raised from 90.3% to 93.5% adjusted ratio, and farm sales ratios went from 84.5% to 99%. State law mandates our valuation to be from 90 to 105% of market value. High ground is $1,550 per acre; tillable pasture is $1,550; fair land $1,400; no access, $1,000; swamp/wetland, $650. Site-amenity adjustment for the first acre of 5 acres is $18,500. The county assessor makes estimates of the number of feet of river frontage. The first acre on a gravel road is valued at $13,500; on pavement $16,500. Amenities affect the value, like a well, electricity, sewer, etc.

First up was Alden Shute, Parcel 32.0133.000. He asked about the commercial classification of his land because of the gravel pit. Alden said the pit is finished and covered, and he is no longer mining gravel. Alden said he had talked with Assessor Mike Sheehy and thought it was already adjusted. Lonna said only 2.5 acres is assessed as gravel pit; 78 1/2 as agricultural/homestead. 16 Acres is classified tillable; 36 1/2 high ground, and 20 acres swamp. Alden said he is not digging or crushing gravel and it’s been reseeded. There is no more the board can rule on this; the assessor will remove the 2.5 acres commercial gravel classification.

Second up, Carl Kratzke, Parcel 32.0126.001, S. Duncan Road, Section 14. He asked how his land is classified, and what percentage was swamp. 216 acres is high ground; 20 acres swamp. He said beavers are damming it up and turning it into a big swamp. Bob said he would increase waste acres to 50 from 20. Lonna said this classification means that no trees can grow year around. Bob said he’d walk the land with Kratzke next year.

Next, Paul Yager, Parcel 32.0196.000: Bob said he would talk with the county assessor to see if it could be adjusted from100% value to 90% value. He is across the road from the lake and doesn’t get all the benefits of lake property. The first acre had been valued at $45,000, and it was adjusted by half, to $22,500, adding only $5,000 for the lake view. Bob said any land within 1000 feet of a lake is considered shoreland. Paul said it’s either shoreland or it’s not; he doesn’t understand how it can be in the middle.

Next up, Patrice Winfield, Parcel32.0138.002: Patrice wanted to know why her value went up from $205,300 to $263,800 when she hasn’t done anything. They list $43,000 in improvements, but she hasn’t done any improvements. Lonna said it was last assessed in 2001, and each parcel is inspected every 5 years. All improvements since 2001 were considered. Patrice said the Roberts had inspected it since the house was built. Bob said most of the increase was in the house; the land only went up $4,000. Patrice said she estimates her home is 90% done, but the ceiling is only ½ done. Lonna called the county and said last year it was only assessed as 79% complete. Bob said they could take 7 acres from high land due to limited access, $150 per acre times 6-7 acres. Bob said he would stop at Patrice’s after the meeting.

Next, Kathy Olson, Parcel 32.5034.000, Little Tamarack Lake Hills on Little Tamarack Lake. She said taxes are going up alarmingly while her enjoyment is going down. It is valued at $71,300 front foot, up $1,400 this year, and $9,500 in the three year evaluation cycle. There was a 2/3 reduction on the front feet due to the road. She said a utility line runs through the property, and they cut and spray under the line. People tear up and down the road and jet skis and powerful boats use the lake. Joe Vink told her to call the DNR as they have enforcement of the lake and shoreline and wakes can erode the shore. Lonna said that with lake lots they assess it by the first foot, not the first acre. Kathy’s is $140 per foot for 579 feet, and a 2/3 reduction because of the geography of the lot. Even though she doesn’t plan to build, it has to be treated as buildable.

Next, Paul Raymond, Parcel32.0138.001. His north 5 acres on the other section went up from $12, 400 to $38,700. Bob said this was done at the county, as they thought it had been undervalued at 25% value all these years. He asked if this five acres could be sold. Paul said there is no access and it could not be separated or sold. The county won’t allow him to merge it into his 40 acres as it is in a different section. Bob said it should be reverted to the earlier value as it is no access and not a separate parcel.

The assessors had two letters: William Peno, Parcels 32.0015 and 32.0016.000: He said the assessment on his half section is too high. Lonna said they have sales to show that it’s fairly valued. Neighboring properties have sold high. He has 160 acres total, half valued as swamp. 70 acres no access across the creek. Peno could get a letter from the DNR showing their evaluation of the land as sustainable forest to give him timber class, but it would not change the value. Mike said he sees no basis to lower the value, as Peno’s neighbor sold 80 acres for $235,000, about $1,500 per acre.

Steve and Tina Barrett, Parcel 32.0020.000: 80 acres, valued at $148,200. They have no sewer or water, and it would be reduced 25%, but Bob assessed the road as not plowed and no winter access, although it is plowed, so this would increase the value by the same amount, so it would be a wash. 20 acres swamp; 37 acres high ground, 20 acres no access, and one acre road.

BOARD ACTION:

Alden Shute: Mike moved: Remove from commercial status, returned to agricultural/pasture. Glen seconded.

Carl Kratzke: Glen moved: 30 acres be reassessed to low ground. Gary seconded. Bob will survey the land.

Paul Yager: No action; no change.

Patrice Winfield: Glen moved that Bob Brewster survey her place and forward his recommendations to the board. No action at this point.

Kathy Olson: Mike moved that the board make no change as her parcel is buildable. Gary seconded. Mike recommended that she contact the DNR about enforcing the shoreline integrity.

Paul Raymond: Glen moved that the 5 acres be returned to its previous assessment as it was classified wrong, from $38,700 to $13,300. Mike seconded.

William Peno: Glen moved no action, and to recommend to Peno that he contact the DNR and the county assessor about a sustainable forest classification. Mike seconded.

Steve Barrett: His valuation is a wash. The building site decreases but the road access increases the value by the same amount. Mike moved no action; Glen seconded.

Mike moved to adjourn; Gary seconded; meeting adjourned at 12:45 p.m.

Paul Raymond, Clerk