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Letters: Problems with property taxation

During the recent town hall meeting in Park Rapids, Sen. Rod Skoe told participants that there were problems with property taxation. Assessors, assessments and a lack of uniformity were being addressed by the legislature during this session.

You can determine if your tax bill is correct and comparable with others in your community. The key is to review the local assessors "field card" for your property by parcel numbers. The field card is the assessor's itemized work sheet. It lists buildings, acreage, amenities, depreciation and dollar values. There are errors. To err is human. This is why taxpayers should call or visit the county assessor's office and request their field card. It is free and public information. To obtain a neighbor's field card for comparison requires a fee of 25 cents per sheet.

Field card structure varies from county to county and may require obtaining "CAMA" (computer) codes in some counties. Your assessor has an obligation to assist you in correctly interpreting your field card. This is important because several recent (2008) studies show assessment errors of 50 percent and more.

Les Ristinen, Frazee