The City of Ham Lake Assessors set the estimated market values and assign property classifications for property tax purposes for nearly 6,800 parcels every year. The goal is to ensure that the property tax burden is distributed fairly and equitably. The assessing process is based on Minnesota state laws; the process is guided and monitored by the Department of Revenue.
The assessment date is January 2 of each year. Annual sales studies are used to analyze market conditions to determine how the Assessor’s estimated market value compares to actual property sales. The Minnesota Department of Revenue requires the city wide median estimated market value to fall within a range of 90% to 105% of the median of actual property sale prices.
Duties of the City Assessors
- Set estimated market values for all properties every year.
- Assign or change classifications based on actual use of properties. Examples of classifications are residential homestead, residential non-homestead, agriculture, commercial, apartment building, etc. Each classification has a different tax rate and these rates are set by the state legislature.
- Physically inspect all properties within the city at least once every 5 years and update property data as necessary.
- Inspect and review properties for which permits were issued in the current year and any partial assessments from previous years and update property data as necessary.
- Process all Certificate of Real Estate Value documents (eCRV’s). This includes check for accuracy, make corrections when necessary, analyze sales data and make determination if sale is included in or excluded from annual sales study.
- Analyze local sales data and determine the effect on the estimated market values. Increase or decrease values according to state guidelines.
- Determine initial and continuing eligibility for special programs such as Green Acres, Rural Preserve, Managed Forest Land, etc.
- Provide value and ownership information to residents, developers, real estate professionals, title companies and other interested parties.
- Provide valuation research to city and county departments.
Property taxes are used to fund local government and schools. Examples of some of these services are:
- Street maintenance
A small amount goes to fund other taxing districts such as mosquito control and metro transit.
Watch this Anoka County Property Tax video for more information about property taxes, click here.
Here’s another video: 14 Reasons Property Taxes Can Go Up or Down put out by the League of MN Cities, Association of MN Counties & MN School Boards Association, click here.
Property Appraisal and the "Quintile Review"
State law requires Assessors to physically visit and review each property within the city once every five years. This annual review of properties is referred to as the Quintile Review.
There are nearly 6,900 residential, commercial, industrial and apartment properties in Ham Lake. Each year, the City Assessors must visit and review one fifth of the properties, so about 1,400, as required by state law.
Quintile Review Map
Below to is a map of the residential quintile review areas that the Assessors will be working in from May through September 2020. This review is part of the process to determine January 2, 2021 property values, which are the values that will be used to assess property taxes payable in 2022.
What to expect if the Assessor comes to your property
- The Assessor will come to the property and knock. An inside review of your home or business may or may not be needed. The decision is based on the information already on file. If an inside review is needed, it typically takes 5-7 minutes for a residential home and longer for larger structures or multiple buildings. They will walk around the outside of the property to verify exterior characteristics. If an inside review is not needed, they will only walk around the outside (if accessible).
- Characteristics of the property that affect market value are age, square footage, quality of construction, condition, basement finish, exterior extras such as decks, patios, other buildings, etc.
- If no one is there when they visit, and an inside review is needed, they will leave an orange door hanger with instructions.
- The Assessor will be wearing an official identification badge to identify themselves.
In addition to the 5-year review areas outlined above, the Assessors will visit new construction, permit/remodeling work in all areas of the city.
To learn how market values are determined, check out the Department of Revenue Fact Sheet 2 “How the Assessor Estimates Market Value”.
To learn more about property tax including how taxes are calculated, check out the Department of Revenue Fact Sheet 1 “Understanding Property Taxes”.
What to do if you feel your property taxes are too high
If you feel your property taxes are too high you can attend budget hearings held each year in November or December. The time and place of the meetings will be listed on your Truth-in-Taxation Notice, sent out by Anoka County in November. There are meetings for each of the taxing jurisdictions such as City of Ham Lake, Anoka County, School District, etc.
What to do if you feel your property valuation or classification are incorrect
Here are the steps to follows:
- Contact the Assessor at the phone number listed on the Valuation Notice OR look at the contacts section on this webpage for phone numbers and emails and let them know your concerns. A phone call or email could resolve or explain the concerns you may have.
- Attend the Appeal Open Book Meeting in early May (dates, times and locations will be listed on the Valuation Notice). For 2020 the meetings are scheduled for Tuesday, May 5th from 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM and Wednesday, May 6th from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM at the Anoka County Government Center, 2100 3rd Ave, Anoka, MN 55303
- Appeal to the County Board of Appeal in June. Call the phone number on the Valuation Notice to schedule an appointment to appear. Have comparable sales information or an appraisal to support your claim when you attend the meeting.
- Appeal to the Minnesota Tax Court. Must appeal on or before April 30th of the year the taxes are due. Visit the Appeals Court website for more information visit https://mn.gov/tax-court
For more information on appeals processes, here is a link to the Department of Revenue Fact Sheet #3: “How to Appeal Your Value and Classification”.
The homestead classification applies to properties occupied as primary residences by the owners. This classification may qualify the property owner for reduced tax rate, reduced taxable market value, property tax refund and/or special program eligibility. If certain family member of the owner lives in the home, the property may qualify for the Relative Homestead status.
For more information about Homestead Classification, check out the MN Dept of Revenue Fact Sheet #10, click here.
To get an application & instructions for Anoka County Homestead Classification, click here.
Additional Resource Links
If you would like to calculate the taxes on a new construction house or calculate the difference between homestead vs. non homestead classification, try out the Anoka County Property Tax Estimator
If you would like to look up a property in Anoka County, use the Anoka County Property Search.
To see approximate property lines, section maps, plat maps and more, use the Anoka County Interactive Property Map.