Chairman Glen Williamson called the meeting to order at 1:00 pm with the Pledge of Allegiance. Also present, County Assessor Lorri Houtsma, Wilma Assessor Bob Brewster, Supervisor Maureen Rioux and Clerk Paul Raymond, Alden Shute, Pat Story and Rod Sorgaard. Today was Bob’s last day as an assessor for Wilma Township and other towns. Board signed the certification form affirming that we have a quorum and that at least one Supervisor is trained in assessing. Glen needs to be re certified this year and he and Maureen can take it on line with the Department of Revenue; it is a short training, less than an hour.
Meeting Record of 2021 Board: Paul read the record; Maureen moved to approve; Glen seconded.
How Values are Determined: Lori explained that estimated market values are based on a sales study of qualifying sales; the assessor has to set values at 90% – 105% of sales in the previous year, October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021. Residential values in Pine County increased 21% from 2021 – 2022, due to sales. Residential homes not on water increased 16%, homes on the water went up 23%. Even vacant land went up. The assessment records are stored at the assessor’s office in the courthouse. Qualifying Sales have a CRD, Certificate of Deed filed with the Auditor who gives it to the Assessor. Excluded sales are family sales, forced foreclosures, and token sales. The increase in EMV for the 33 townships in Pine County is set by the sales in each township the previous year and a half ago, and must be set between 90 – 105%. Ours are at 93.3%. Lori said sales are going through the roof in Wilma and all over the state.
Richard Gasteki, Parcel 32.5043.00, Tamarack Lake: (Appeal by letter). The value went up from $450,000 to $750,000, a $300,000 increase. Has geothermal heating and a finished garage. 3 bedrooms. The increase was due to the value of the land and comparable sales on Tamarack Lake.
Wilma Sales: Five sales of 20 or more acres, and value was at 97.85%. One had a travel trailer without tags that if fixed would bring it down to 93%. We had two sales of more than 34.5 acres at 64% and she had to raise them to 77.4%. Wilma, Arna and Ogema all had increases in building sales so were within the sales ratio. Lorri tries to stay consistent with neighboring townships. Wilma had one sale on the Tamarack River in the Anderson Acres division, Bill Premco.
Rod Sogaard, 32.0080.00: The old Bruce Filler place on Duxbury Road. It was two parcels, now combined. He bought it in 2016 and taxes went up from $980 to $1,800. He has a mother-in-law house behind the house, 30×24 ‘. Has a bath and two bedrooms and is valued at $88,000. Bob he sees 20% of all homes every year in rotation, so was seen in 2016, which means it was checked again in October, 2021. Rod asked Bob to come out again to see the smaller house; it is not lived in and is only storage and has no AC. Bob said he would if he could. Today is his last day and he has an appointment later this afternoon.
Bryan and Teri Nelson, 32.0080 and 0079. The Vink home and the Duxbury Store and Bar. Bryan said the store has not been commercial for many years. Bryan would like it re-classified. Paul said Gary did have the Duxbury Fire department hunters’ raffle at the bar every year, but otherwise the bar was closed. Lorri said she would have the county’s commercial assessor Troy Stewart come out so the classification can be changed for 2023 taxes from commercial to residential. She gave Bryan a homestead application so he can declare the home his homestead. Glen moved that county commercial assessor Troy Stewart come out to the store and survey the store, the bar and the house, to change the classification. Maureen seconded. The North Farm, 32.0056.00: 70 Acres next to Glienke’s. Even though he has it farmed by Howard Swanson, it is not classified as agricultural but the south farm which also has crops is agricultural. Five years ago the north farm was changed from agricultural to rural vacant land, non-homestead. Lorri said there is very little tax difference between rural vacant and agricultural. She said she can change the north farm back to agricultural if they verify it but it won’t affect taxes for two years.
Pat Story, 32.0133.00: Last house on Lost River Road. He asked what square feet they use; he measures inside at 25’x35′; Lorri said they measure outside at 26’x35′. It is 568 square feet with 486 sq. ft. in the loft. Lorri said building values went way up, not just in Wilma but all over the state. River front did not change this year, but buildings did go way up. No change.
Alden Shute, 32.0133.00: Alden said his value went up 31%. The SA Site Amenities for his home went from $9,500 to $16,000. He is on the Tamarack River and everyone on the river has $11,000 value increase for the first acre of river, which affects everyone from Clay Heller to Mark and Lisa Sisterman in the southeast corner of the township. Alden asked if he’s being charged so much for the river, why can’t he do anything to the river? Lorri said site amenities went up everywhere and every home increased in value to make the goals of values to sales ratio.
River Value Discrepancies: Bob said that since this is his last day that he wants to inform the township of the great discrepancies in valuing river front property. Clay Heller has to pay $11,000 for the first acre in Wilma Township, but across the road his land in New Dosey Township on the river has no charge. The Tamarack River in Wilma Township adds $27,500 in Site Amenities/Water Values, plus $30 per front foot (on one side), but in New Dosey across the road it is $16,000, and $15 per front foot. Same river, 30 feet apart. Crooked Creek in Wilma where the Ackermans live has no SA on the first acre of river front, only a $12/foot front footage. There is no SA for Keene Creek or McDermott Creek either except for $12/foot. Those who own land on the Tamarack River pay $30 per front foot on top of the $11,500 first acre charge. Glen said creeks are different from rivers, but taxes and values will never be fair and some will always be paying more than others. In Arna, Hay Creek by the Elliots has only $1,000 water value, and $12/ff charge. Bob made a detailed chart and wants this to be his legacy to the townships. Lorri assured the Board that she and the assessors office would take a good look at these discrepancies, and Paul thanked her and expressed his confidence that they might make some changes.
County Meeting to Appeal: The County meeting will be June 1 at 6 p.m. At the courthouse only if you first appeal at the township level.
Maureen moved to adjourn; Glen seconded. Meeting adjourned at 3:20 p.m.