Dan Weber, Sherburne County Assessor

County promoting tax-saving programs

Staff Writer
Ken Francis
It won’t be long before property taxes are due, and taxpayers will appreciate any breaks they can get.
This year, Sherburne County property owners will be receiving information on a few different programs that can cut a few dollars from their tax bill.
In March the county will be mailing out the 2014 Sherburne County Property Tax Statement together with the 2015 Valuation Notice. 
“This is the first time they’re going to receive their tax statement and notice of valuation and assessment together,” says Sherburne County Assessor Dan Weber. “We’re mailing them in the same envelope this year to save the county  a little money on postage. This is the first year logistically we were able to do it at the same time.”
Along with both statements will be a list of tax-saving programs that many people in the county can qualify for. The board of commissioners asked Weber to include the information with the valuation notices.
“There are numerous special programs that affect the amount of property taxes certain properties pay,” says Weber. “They may reduce the values used to calculate taxes or they may actually be credits or refunds of property taxes paid.”
The Minnesota Property Tax Refund is a statewide program where certain taxpayers are eligible for a refund of some of their property taxes based on their household income and the amount of taxes they paid. Visit the Minnesota Department of Revenue’s website for more information. 
Market Value Exclusion for Disabled Veterans, Primary Family Caregivers & Surviving Spouses 
This program provides a market value exclusion for property tax purposes for the homestead property of qualifying veterans and surviving spouses or primary family caregivers of qualifying veterans. 
The Green Acres Program (Minnesota Agricultural Property Tax Law) provides property tax relief for owners of agricultural property in areas where the market value of land is being affected by development pressure, sales of recreational land, or other nonagricultural factors. 
The Rural Preserve Property Tax Program was created by state lawmakers two years ago. It provides property tax relief for qualifying owners of rural vacant land in areas where the market value of the land is being affected by development pressure, sales of recreational land, or other factors. 
The Class 2c Managed Forest Land property classification provides a reduced class rate of 0.65% to forested property that is subject to a current forest management (stewardship) plan and that meets other requirements.
The Class 1b Blind/ Disabled Homestead classification provides a reduced class rate for homestead property of any person who qualifies as blind or as permanently and totally disabled.
“A lot of people aren’t aware of this. It’s something the state used to handle but the county is doing now,” says Jackie Meyer, office supervisor in the assessor’s office. “It’s an application to fill it out. Once they do it and give us the proper paperwork, they shouldn’t have to file again.”
Under the program the first $50,000 in value on qualifying people’s properties are calculated at a lower tax rate. 
“If you receive a letter from Social Security saying you now will receive disability, normally that letter will have information we need for them to fill out an application to receive that lower rate on their tax statements,” says Meyer.
Each of the programs listed above has its own set of requirements and most require an application to be completed. 
Additional information and applications for the programs may be found on the assessor’s webpage at www.co.sherburne.mn.us or on the Minnesota Department of Revenue’s webpage at www.taxes.state.mn.us. Or contact the assessor’s office at (763) 765-4900 or 1-800-438-0577 for additional questions.
“We just want to make people aware that there are programs out there that can help save a little bit of money,” says Weber.


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