The primary job of the assessor’s office is actually narrower than most taxpayers believe. Their task is to estimate, as accurately as possible, the fair market value of each property in the County, they don’t decide how much tax is to be paid and they don’t establish tax rates. Estimated Market Value is the assessor’s estimate of a property’s actual market value, defined as the most probable price well informed buyers and sellers would agree to without either party being unduly forced to buy or sell on the assessment date, January 2, each year.
The assessor’s office maintains information about every piece of property in the County to assist in making their estimates of value each year. The staff of the assessor’s office, or a local assessor hired by local townships, reviews the information for each property in the County at least once every 5 years to ensure accuracy. This allows comparing all unsold properties to a property that recently sold to help accurately estimate the fair market value.
All assessment data is available free of charge at the public computer terminal at our office and the assessor’s office will always attempt to assist the public in the use of this data whenever possible. It is also available to the public at our website: Benton County MN - Beacon
You may find Minn Dept of Revenue Electronic Certificate of Real State Value (eCRV) search tool to be useful in researching comparable sales.
Why is the property tax the bulwark of local government finance? What is the role of state aid in a healthy property tax system? This video explores these questions and more: Property Tax 101: Why the Property Tax
This video walks through the mechanics of how the property tax works, and why it is so stable and effective: Property Tax 101: The Mechanics
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