Year after year, Ramsey County residents fail to collect up to $25 million in property tax refunds, according to the Minnesota Department of Revenue.
Among the tax reduction options that exist, and there are several, is that anyone whose property tax burden increases by more than 12 percent in a single year can apply to the state for a special refund of up to $1,000, regardless of family income. .
St. Paul officials say 2023 will be an especially important year to look at the special rebate due to a court-driven change in about $13 million in street maintenance charges from fees to property taxes.
In eight low-to-moderate income areas of the city, general property taxes are likely to rise 12-20% by 2023, according to estimates released by Ramsey County, while wealthier neighborhoods may see less impact.
Here is a list of multiple refunds to investigate.
Don’t live in Ramsey County? Check with your county assessor and visit the state Department of Revenue property tax website at Revenue.state.mn.us/property-taxes.
Owners can declare a home with an estimated market value of $413,800 or less as their home or primary residence.
That qualifies you to receive an annual “circuit breaker” property tax credit of up to $3,140 from the state of Minnesota, as long as your household income is less than $128,280. Even if your household income is higher, certain deductions may help you qualify for the refund or increase the amount of your refund: if you or your spouse are age 65 or older, or if one of you is permanently or totally disabled , have dependents, or contributed to a retirement account.
The average refund is about $1,100. To declare your home as homestead, visit the county website at tinyurl.com/HomesteadRamCO for an application, which must be sent to the county with a copy of your deed, including the legal description.
Depending on your housing situation, you may need to submit additional forms, such as a copy of your Certificate of Real Estate Value if you purchased your property within the last three months. The state provides more information about the home’s market value foreclosure online at tinyurl.com/HomesteadMN.
Another commonly overlooked benefit is a special homestead credit that the state offers to anyone whose property taxes increase by more than 12 percent and $100 in a single year, regardless of household income.
The special refund is 60 percent of the amount of tax paid that exceeds the 12 percent increase, up to $1,000. It can be requested in addition to the traditional family credit.
The property tax increase cannot be the result of home improvements. Look for the “special property tax refund” instructions on your state property tax Form M1PR. There is more information online at tinyurl.com/HomesteadMN.
Blind or permanently and totally disabled
State law allows a reduced property tax rate for permanently blind or totally disabled owners who occupy their property. File an application with the county assessor’s office. Visit the county website at tinyurl.com/HomesteadRamCO for instructions on housing for the disabled.
Tax Exclusion for Disabled Veterans
This program provides a property tax exclusion for the home of an honorably discharged veteran who has a service-connected disability rating of 70 percent or more. Surviving spouses of certain qualified veterans and service members, as well as primary family caregivers of qualifying veterans, are also eligible.
Depending on your state, the market value exclusion allows you to deduct up to $150,000 or up to $300,000 of your home’s value when calculating property taxes. Documentation must be submitted with your county’s residency application. Visit tinyurl.com/HomesteadRamCO.
Renters also pay “implicit” property taxes, and that means they could be eligible for money back. The Renter’s Property Tax Refund Program, sometimes called the Renter’s Credit, is a state-paid refund for low-to-moderate-income renters. Renters whose household income exceeds $64,920 were not eligible in 2022, although deductions are allowed for dependents, the elderly, and the disabled. As income increases, the maximum reimbursement decreases.
The maximum refund for claims filed in 2022 was $2,280, though the average refund tends to be around $700, or higher for the elderly and disabled. Refund claims are filed using the State Property Tax Form M1PR. For more information, visit tinyurl.com/RenterCredit2022.
Seniors whose household income is $60,000 or less and have occupied or lived in their home for 15 years or more can defer most of their property taxes.
The state of Minnesota will treat the deferred taxes as a loan, payable at the time the property is sold or deregistered, with variable interest not to exceed 5 percent. The property tax you will pay will be 3 percent of your total household income based on your income from the previous year. Applications are handled through the state Department of Revenue. For more information, visit tinyurl.com/SeniorTaxDeferral.
Exemption from tax penalties
Ramsey County property owners can apply for an exemption to avoid paying a late property tax penalty. Owners can apply for a parcel penalty waiver once every 10 years.
The exemption may apply to either the first half of the year or the second half, but not both. See the Ramsey County property tax website at tinyurl.com/RamCoTax2022.
Reduction for exceptional hardship
Property owners who have suffered a medical emergency or other exceptional hardship have the right to apply to the Ramsey County Auditor/Treasurer for a property tax abatement.
The request may apply to fines, interest and costs. If a reduction is not granted, Property Tax Services will work with property owners to provide information on all available forms of tax relief, including the development of partial payment schedules. See the county website at tinyurl.com/RamCoTax2022.
Contesting a Property Assessment
Property taxes are largely, but not exclusively, tied to estimated market values. The county assessor’s office works throughout the year to establish market values for each property by January 2 of each year, with appraisal and classification notices mailed shortly thereafter. Those numbers will be used to help determine the taxes to be paid the following year.
In other words, the property taxes you pay in 2023 will be based largely on the estimated value of the home that was mailed to you in early 2022.
If you believe your assessment is unfairly inflated, homeowners can challenge the county assessor’s determination of your home’s estimated market value, but the process becomes more complicated the longer you wait. The first step is to call the adjuster’s office at 651-266-2131 to discuss your concerns.
You can then request an “open book” meeting with a counselor. Those meetings are usually held on two dates in early April. Clients can mail or provide electronic documentation (such as a recent appraisal or sale of the property) that supports their claim of overvaluation or misclassification.
If you still disagree with the assessor’s findings, you may request a formal review by the county assessor and then an appeal hearing before the County Board of Appeals and Equalization. Hearings are usually held around June.
An appeal of your prior year’s value can only be appealed to the Minnesota Tax Court on or before April 30 of the year the taxes are paid. There is more information online at tinyurl.com/AppealValue2022.