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Becker Cunty Truth and Taxation shows unpredictable tax impact next year

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region Park Rapids, 56470
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

When it comes to property taxes, next year is a real crapshoot: Truth in Taxation notices were mailed out to Becker County property owners Monday and Tuesday, notifying them of property taxes due in 2012.

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A sampling of the notices showed results all over the place. Here are some examples:

• A commercial bank located on Highway 10 West in Detroit Lakes saw its taxes go from $9,195 to $9,686 -- a 5.3 percent increase.

• A tax hike of more than 49 percent will hit an 11-acre agricultural homestead in Savannah Township, in eastern Becker County. Taxes will go from $386 to $576 next year, with the bulk of that going to Becker County and the Park Rapids School District.

• A commercial property on the 1100 block of Highway 10 east in Detroit Lakes saw its taxes go from $4,202 this year to $4,480 next year, an increase of 6.6 percent. Of that increase, about $127 went to the city, $86 to the state, $45 to the county, and $30 to the school district.

• An agricultural homestead in Atlanta Township (part of the Waubun-Ogema-White Earth School District) showed a 14 percent increase, or $144 -- from $1,032 this year to $1,176 next year.

• A residential homestead on the 200 block of Broadway Avenue in Detroit Lakes kept its value at about $93,000, but saw a 13 percent jump in property taxes -- from $644 this year to $726 next year.

• A seasonal property in Two Inlets Township saw its taxes go from $1,278 this year to $1,364 next year, a 6.7 percent hike.

• Eighty acres of agricultural non-homestead property near Pine Point saw a nearly 18 percent increase, from $798 this year to $940 next year -- due in part to an increase in value from $91,000 to $100,000.

• A residential homestead on the 200 block of Summit Avenue in Detroit Lakes lost value, from $73,700 to $64,600 and saw its taxes drop from $442 to $418.

• A seasonal property on Dacotah Beach on Lake Melissa dropped in value, from $381,000 this year to $331,000 next year, and saw a corresponding drop in taxes -- from $2,900 to $2,700, a 7.4 percent decrease.

• In Runeberg Township in eastern Becker County, 40 acres of agricultural non-homestead and non-homestead rural vacant land saw an increase of nearly 23 percent. Taxes on that land, owned by a Baxter, Minn., man, will go from $544 this year to $688 next year. That follows a market value increase from $55,100 to $68.100.

• Another 40 acres of similar land in Runeberg Township, owned by the same man, saw a slight value decrease and a slight drop in taxes, from $788 to $778.

• There was a tax hike of more than 27 percent on a six-acre residential homestead in Osage Township. The market value actually dropped a bit, to $98,500, but taxes went from $534 to $680 next year.

• There was a 21 percent jump in property taxes in Green Valley Township, also in eastern Becker County, on 37 acres of non-homestead rural vacant land and residential homestead. Taxes went from $2,232 to $2,704 on a relatively small jump in value, from $308,000 to $314,000.

• An increase of only about 4 percent will hit 80 acres of non-homestead rural vacant land and seasonal property in Wolf Lake Township. Taxes will go from $2,286 to $2,372 next year.

Property taxes are rising because the Legislature took about $265 million out of the system per year, starting next year, by eliminating the homestead tax credit. That caused taxes to rise even though some local governments, like Becker County, had a zero percent levy increase for 2012.

Rising land values in some categories, such as farmland and rural vacant land, compounded the problem, and some local governments also raised taxes to meet needs.

In short, your tax bill depends on what category of land you own, which taxing districts you own property in, and whether the value of that property rose or fell.

Questions about your tax bill can be answered at the Becker County Assessor's Office (846-7300) or the County Auditor-Treasurer's Office (846-7311).

The Becker County Truth in Taxation hearing is set for 6 p.m. Dec. 13 at the courthouse.

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