Appraisals & Inspections

Who does the assessment work?
Local assessors and county staff assessors/appraisers under the direction and supervision of the county assessor complete the assessment of all properties within Meeker County. They have several years of experience in discovering, listing, valuing, classifying, monitoring, and defending assessments made on all real and personal property. They also have a good working knowledge of the county and are familiar with its many markets.

License Requirements
All assessors employed in Minnesota are required to hold 1 of 4 levels, issued by the State Board of Assessors, of licensure:
  • Minimum level: CMA-Certified Minnesota Assessor
  • Second level: CMAS-Certified Minnesota Assessor Specialist
  • Third level: AMA-Accredited Minnesota Assessor
  • Highest level: SAMA-Senior Accredited Minnesota Assessor
The complexity of area taxing districts and the total market valuation in several classes of property determine which licensure level is required. The authority to value income-producing properties is also restricted by law to only licensed assessors who have successfully completed at least 2 income classes.

Extensive course work, written exams, oral exams, and/or the presentation of form or narrative appraisals along with required years of experience in the field must be satisfactorily accomplished by these individuals seeking licensure. Additionally, assessors must satisfy the established requirements for continuing education every 4 years to maintain their current licenses.

Assessor/Appraiser Duties
A staff appraiser's duties include:
  • Assessing assigned agricultural, residential, seasonal, personal (mobile homes and travel trailers), and exempt properties to establish market values and determine tax classifications
  • Conducting outdoor field inspections; establishes and maintains land and building valuation methods through computer aided mass appraisal applications
  • Reviewing complaints related to the assessment
  • Processing land divisions, plats, and certificates of real estate value
  • Verifying real estate sales
  • Assisting in the preparation of surveys, studies, reports, and appraisals
  • Providing the public with assessment data; and represents the county at local boards of review
How often must an assessor view my property?
Assessors must view and estimate the market value of each tract or lot of real property, including the value of all improvements and structures, at maximum of 5 years. The appraisal interval may be shorter due to review appraisals requested by the owner for an appeal, ongoing new construction, or if the assessor feels there may be an error in the property information for a particular property.
Assessors are specifically required by law to actually view each tract of real property and to appraise its market value.

Property values change continuously with the changing economic conditions. In addition to market changes are the numerous physical changes in land and its improvements.

Viewing the Interior of Property
In order to make an accurate estimation of market value, the appraiser should view both the interior and exterior of a property. It is impossible to get an accurate picture of the entire property by performing an exterior inspection only. Appraisers need to gather as much information as possible in order to arrive at a fair and equitable value. Typically, the older a structure, the more variations in characteristics exist for that property.

Assessor Authority to Enter Buildings
Any officer authorized by law to assess property for taxation, when necessary to the proper performance of their duties, may enter any dwelling, house, building, or structure and view the same and the property therein. Primary Statutory Reference 273.08.

Any officer authorized by law to assess property for ad valorem tax purposes shall have reasonable access to land and structures as necessary for the proper performance of their duties.

What if I don't let the assessor inspect my home?
A property owner may refuse to allow an assessor to inspect their property. This refusal by the property owner must be either verbal or expressly stated in a letter to the county assessor. If the assessor is denied access to view a property, the assessor is authorized to estimate the property’s estimated market value by making assumptions believed appropriate concerning the property’s finish and condition. This will include assuming that the interior is as appealing as possible for that type of property, i.e. recently remodeled, finished basement, added bath, etc.

The appraisers desire to view as many properties as possible in order to have the best possible information on all properties, since the quality of the assessment is a measure of the quality of their work. In addition, if an inspection is refused by a taxpayer, they cannot receive a favorable appeal by a board of appeal and equalization.

Identifying an Assessor
Assessors for Meeker County will be carrying a photo identification badge. Information can be verified by calling the Assessor’s Office.

Property Appraisal Notification
At this time, it is not feasible for the county to send out any notification of when the appraiser will be out to visit your property. If no 1 is home when the assessor arrives, he/she will leave a door tag asking you to call for an appointment for an interior inspection. If there is no response, an arbitrary appraisal will be made, in effect an educated guess at the interior features of the home.

Appraisal Time
The appraisal normally takes 10-20 minutes, depending on the amount of finish and complexity of the home. But may take longer to give time for the homeowner to ask questions.

Reviewing the Value
You will receive a valuation notice sometime in the early spring informing you of your value and classification for that assessment year. Even though an appraiser might have visited your property the previous summer, valuations require accumulation of sales data through the end of each year, then time during the winter to view new construction, to analyze the market and to perform model calculations.