What does the Assessor do?

The Assessor has a number of different tasks:

  • Accepting applications for property tax programs
    • The Minnesota Property Tax System involves a variety of programs for which applications are required. The forms and applications that are pertinent to the County Assessor's Office are varied and include homestead benefit applications, applications for value and tax abatements, applications for disaster credit or for damaged property tax relief. The County Assessor also is involved with a variety of deferment programs such as "The Old House Valuation" deferment, applications for disability classification, and applications for property tax exemption status. Please contact the County Assessor's Office if you have any questions regarding these application processing requirements.
  • Estimating Value
    • The law requires that assessors view each parcel of real estate to appraise its market value. Property values change continuously, with changing market conditions. In addition to market changes, 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.
  • Classifying Property
    • The Assessor also determines the classification, or use, of each parcel. For instance, the property may be a residential homestead, residential non-homestead, seasonal recreational residential, agricultural, resort, or commercial. Each classification is taxed at a different percentage of market value. These percentages are set by the Minnesota State Legislature.
  • Viewing Property
    • Approximately every fifth year, a staff appraiser from the Cass County Assessor's Office will view each property. In addition, all new construction, alterations or improvements will be viewed in the current year.
  • Gathering Information
    • The Staff Appraiser 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 involving the land are also observed, such as the number of acres of land including the different types of land as well as determining the amount of front footage on water and the quality of the shoreline involved.
  • Appraising Property
    • The Cass County Assessor's Office utilizes a computer-assisted mass appraisal system in order to gain a high level of uniformity and equity during the assessment process. Our system uses a modified cost approach, which incorporates recent real estate market activity in order to keep pace with the market.
    • According to state law, the Assessor's market value is supposed to represent 100% of real value as expressed in the market place. The Minnesota Department of Revenue and the Minnesota Tax Court sit in judgment annually to determine whether the Assessor's Office has done its job according to statute. The performance of the Assessor's Office is measured statistically by the use of sales ratio analysis. By law, assessor's values are supposed to be within 90% and 105% of sale price. If this level of assessment is not achieved, the county is subject to valuation adjustments by the Department of Revenue or The Minnesota Tax Court. 
    • Cass County has consistently been in compliance with this requirement.

Show All Answers

1. How does the Assessor determine market value?
2. How is property tax assessed?
3. What does the Assessor do?
4. What do you do with property tax revenue?
5. What is Market Value?
6. Who are these Appraisers, and what are their credentials?