Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Property Tax Appeals and Income

Property Tax Appeals and Income

When you file a property tax appeal on property that has income you may be
subject to the "60 day rule" which states:

"Information, including income and expense figures, verified net rentable
areas, and anticipated income and expenses, for income- producing property
must be provided to the county assessor within 60 days after the petition
has been filed"

This is clearly applies for office, industrial, retail and apartment
buildings. But what about vacant land?

To be on the safe side, when I file a property tax appeal that includes land
rental for farming I do ask for this information from the property owners.
But I hit an interesting one this week.

The assessor inspected the property, saw sand mining activity, and looked to
be attempting to invoke the 60 day rule to have the petition tossed out.
There were two issues at play here in the taxpayers favor:

1) No income was coming to the developer who owned the land. He had a deal
with the excavator extracting the dirt that the excavator could sell the
excess dirt and keep the proceeds.

2) A prior tax court case, Menards vs Sherburne County from 1998. Sherburne
County filed a motion to compel discovery of sales and income information.

The court ruled: "The central question in this matter is whether
owner-occupied property which has no rental income falls within the data
production requirements of Minn. Stat. § 278.05, subd. 6. We find that it
does not"

It was a nice try by the assessor. Keeps me on my toes.


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