Like most other areas of the country, Hennepin County, Minnesota charges residents yearly property taxes. In Minnesota, property taxes provide the majority of the funding for local governments and local programs, including schools, roads and police and fire support. Hennepin County property taxes are collected by the county and distributed between the county, cities, townships, school districts and special districts, such as the Metropolitan Council, the Metropolitan Transit and the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District.
The amount of Hennepin County property taxes you’ll owe is dependent upon the value of your property as valued by the local tax assessor. Assessors estimate property values and set their classifications for tax purposes. Once the properties in the county are assessed, then the value of your property is calculated using the millage rate that has been determined. The millage rate is determined once the county’s budget is determined. The millage rate must be high enough to generate the required revenue, based on the property values in the area.
Once the tax assessor has valued your property, you will receive a notice of the fair market value of your home, as estimated by the tax assessor. If you dispute the value as estimated by the tax assessor, you may appeal to the county tax board. If you win your appeal, your Hennepin County property taxes may be lowered, or you may be entitled to a refund of Hennepin County property taxes already paid. When your appeal comes up to be heard, you must be prepared to explain why you feel that the property’s tax value is too high. The tax assessor will explain how he derived the figure and why he believes it is correct.
Hennepin County has what is known as a “this old house” clause in their property tax laws. Under this law, if your house is more than 45 years old, there are some home improvements you can make to your home that are exempt from increasing your property taxes. Under normal circumstances, your property taxes may increase every time you make home improvements, because the value of your home is increased. However, this provision allows owners of older homes to make necessary improvements but keep them exempt from a property tax increase.
Hennepin County provides a homestead exemption for their residents. A homestead exemption is a reduction in general Hennepin County property taxes that is due to homeowners. However, you can only claim a homestead exemption on your primary residence, so you are not entitled to this exemption on any rental or vacation properties you might own.
In some cases, you may be able to apply for a homestead exemption on a home you own in which a qualifying resident lives. Hennepin County has an additional homestead exemption for those who are blind or totally disabled. You’ll need to file for your homestead exemption at the county offices.