Hubbard County Board of Equalization approves a few appeals

More than 100 landowners appealed their estimated market values.

Hubbard County Government Center
Park Rapids Enterprise file photo, March 2020
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The Hubbard County Board of Equalization met on Tuesday, June 21 to decide whether or not to make adjustments to 2022 property value assessments.

More than 100 landowners appealed their estimated market values.

Appreciating housing market

Each year, the Hubbard County Assessor’s Department runs a 12-month sales ratio study. The values on the 2022 valuation notice are reflective of sales from October 2020 through September 2021.

In order to be compliant with the state, estimated market values must fall within 90 and 105 percent of what the property is selling for.

Because the median sales ratio, for both on- and off-water properties, was at 70.5%, the county assessor’s department implemented a countywide 25% building rate increase per square foot on all residential structures.


Based on the sales ratio study, it was determined that homes of 1,100 square feet or less were undervalued. They were assessed an additional 25% building rate increase per square foot.

Motion fails

On Tuesday, concerned that properties with two dwellings had a 25% increase applied twice, David De La Hunt proposed giving a 10% functional reduction to the second and subsequent dwellings, if the first dwelling was under 1,100 sq ft.

A lengthy discussion ensued.

“Our data shows that what we did brought us into compliance,” Hubbard County Assessor Jamie Freeman said.

She and Assistant County Assessor Maria Shepherd recommended no change.

Freeman reminded the board that a new rule applied to one property must be granted to all properties, otherwise it’s not fair or equitable.

“If you only do it for the people who appealed, you’re creating an unfair situation,” she said.

Char Christenson asked how many properties would be affected by this proposed rule.


“Thousands,” Shepherd replied. “There’s 15,000 building sequences that we have to try to look at.”

It would have to be applied to resorts, Long Lake properties, commercial properties, she continued. “You’re talking months to get this work done, and you’re talking thousands and thousands of letters to go out.”

De La Hunt noted that the sales appeal of smaller homes was unique to this housing market.

Shepherd replied, “I actually think we’ve been undervaluing smaller cabins for a very long time. This was the first year that we finally increased rates on those smaller square foot cabins.”

“And had enough data to recognize and prove that they were (undervalued),” Freeman added.

De La Hunt’s motion failed 2-3. Christenson and De La Hunt voted in favor, but Ted Van Kempen, Dan Stacey and Kay Rave were opposed. Tom Krueger was absent.

The board approved the following changes, based on the local and/or county assessor’s recommendations:

  • Lowered Ray and Cheryl Kangas’ residential homestead valuation from $608,800 to $555,500.
  • Reduced the values on Virginia Hancock’s seasonal residential cabins, currently at $482,900. A 12% functional reduction will be applied to a 560-square-foot cabin and a 7% reduction to the 918-square-foot cabin.
  • Affirmed the Mantrap Township Local Board of Equalization’s recommendation to apply a 50% reduction in value on three cabins owned by Mike and Steve Hennek, bringing the total valuation from $635,000 to $519,300.
  • Lowered Scott and Jenny Samarzja’s seasonal residential recreational home from $397,100 to $322,000.
  • Reduced Justin and Darla Erdman’s residential homestead value from $579,400 to $518,600.
Hubbard County Auditor-Treasurer Kay Rave returned on Tuesday, Jan. 17 with a request to simply name the water body “Kennedy Lake” – this time with Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) approval.
Hubbard County, along with nine other counties, is applying for Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. . It’s funded through $275 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
The Northern Waters Land Trust (NWLT) is donating 680 acres of “high-quality forestland” to Hubbard County.

Shannon Geisen is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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