The economic meltdown of the last few years has sent assessors scrambling to mark down values for commercial and industrial properties. Those efforts have necessarily come up short. The result: near-record numbers of appeals to the MinnesotaTax Court, which handles all property tax disputes. Since filings are required annually, the court calendar is backed up with unresolved matters from earlier years.
As a result, taxpayers who file their case by the April 30 deadline in a payable tax year are not likely to see their matter appear on court calendars for anywhere from 12 to 22 months. Those settings are often continued, as assessors struggle to handle the swollen litigation caseloads, meaning that it can literally be years before a pending tax matter is resolved.
There is an opportunity for jurisdictions to settle matters in the fall, regardless of the court calendar, to avoid the specter of ruinous refunds in the future. Savvy assessors who are open to early settlement benefit the taxing districts, while the taxpayer gets desperately needed relief in a more timely manner.