Assessment hearing quiet for Sherburne side of Princeton

Whatever the feelings of property owners in the Sherburne County side of the city of Princeton may be regarding their assessed valuations for tax purposes, no one showed up to question or protest their assessments during the April 5 hearing.

It’s called the annual board of equalization meeting in which property owners can ask questions or protest to their local elected officials their new valuations from the county assessor’s office. In the case of the city of Princeton, the city council sits as the board to vote on any requests for reducing an assessment. The meeting is also always attended by representatives of the assessor’s office.

Sherburne County’s new head assessor, Dan Weber, was at the equalization meeting for the Sherburne side of the city at the start of the city’s April 5 monthly study session, along with associates Bill Riley and Doug Brise.

A primer is in order to explain how the assessment timing works. The assessment you receive this year is for taxes payable 2013, in other words always the year behind when the taxes are paid. Furthermore, the study of property sales to formulate the 2012 assessment was done during the period of Oct. 1, 2010, through Sept. 30, 2011. Because of that, taxpayers will sometimes see a lag between what they see are changing market values and the value on their assessments.

Weber pointed out that his office decreased the assessment schedule or base rate for residential in the Sherburne part of the city by 8.3 percent for 2011 and by 10.2 percent for 2012.

Assessors are required to keep assessments within a range of 90-105 percent of actual sales. There was no change in the overall assessment base for residential in 2010, Weber noted. The Sherburne part of the city includes the approximately 24-unit townhome development on the city’s south edge next to the golf course, and also the city’s main industrial park on the south end.


Industrial and


Commercial and industrial values increased about .6 percent for the 2012 assessment, according to Weber. His list of taxable new commercial and industrial construction for four years shows $1,023,800 in 2008, zero in 2009, $4,272,700 (much of that for the United States Distilled Products plant expansion) in 2010, and $1,877,000 in 2011.

The total estimated market value of all real taxable property in the Sherburne side of the city in 2012 is $53,707,100, according to Weber.

City Administrator Mark Karnowski asked Riley how he thinks Princeton’s Sherburne part is doing compared to other cities in that county. Riley answered that Princeton’s industrial park, based on the recent history, is “booming” compared to Sherburne’s other cities.

Elk River and Big Lake did have some new construction last year, Riley added, mentioning a $5 million low-income apartment building in Elk River, and two apartment buildings in Big Lake that together, totaled $5 million.

The Mille Lacs County Board of Equalization hearing will be during the May 3 city council study session, which begins at 4:30 p.m. Those meetings for the Mille Lacs side of the city are usually heavily attended and the protests frequent, and sometimes contentious. Attendees at a particular hearing in 2008 filled the seating area in the council meeting room.