The Assessor estimates market values and classifies properties based on current use or the most likely use of the
property. An example of the different classifications are homestead, commercial, seasonal recreational residential, and
timber. The assessor's office also administers a number of property tax programs such as "Green Acres", senior citizens
property tax deferral, and special agricultural homestead programs.
Estimating Market Values
The law requires that assessors view each parcel of real estate to appraise its
market value based on current market conditions. In addition to current market, numerous physical changes affect the
value of land and buildings. All factors are considered when estimating the value of property. This requires physical
inspection of all property subject to assessment.
Classification of Property
The Assessor determines the classification of each property based on the
current use of each parcel. Some of the property are residential homestead, residential non-homestead, seasonal
recreational residential, agricultural, resort, or commercial. Each classification may be taxed at a different
percentage of market value. These percentages are set by the Minnesota State Legislature and may change from year to year.
Approximately every fifth year, the assessor will view each taxable property. In
addition, all new construction, alterations or improvements are viewed in the current year.
The Assessor gathers information on all characteristics of the property that
affect market value, such as size and age of the building, quality of construction, and special features such as
basement finish, fireplaces, walk-out basements, etc. Characteristics about the land are also observed, such as
location, number of acres of land, quality features of the land, as well as determining the amount and quality of
front footage on the lake involved.
The Becker County Assessor's Office utilizes a computer-aided mass appraisal (CAMA)
system which helps the assessor achieve uniformity and equality during the assessment process.
According to state law, the assessors estimated market value are supposed to represent 100% of real value as
expressed in the real estate market. The Minnesota Department of Revenue, through the State Board of Equalization,
meets annually with the County Assessor and through the use of statistical measures determines and reviews the overall
quality and level of assessment. The estimated market values relative to properties which have sold during the previous
year should be at 90-105%.