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Board of Appeals and Equalization notices sent beginning March 20

The Stevens County Local Board of Appeal and Equalization notices will be sent soon for the 2009 Assessment taxes payable in 2010.

Cards will be sent to county residents on March 20, and cards to City of Morris residents will be sent the first week in April.

The notices are not to be confused with the tax statements, which are for the 2008 assessment taxes payable in 2009, said county Assessor Judy Thorstad.

Sales ratio period used for the 2009 assessment are sales that took place between Oct. 1, 2007 thru Sept. 30, 2008.

Every taxable parcel in the county will receive a card.

Remember that even though estimated market values increase does not mean property taxes will increase. Valuation is only the first step in the process. The state Legislature and local tax levies by schools, the county and local taxing districts are also part of the process.

Here's more information about the notices:

• There will be two years of information on the card.

• Property owners need to make an appointment for the Local Morris City Board of Appeal and Equalization. Appointments are made with the County Assessor's office and property is viewed prior to making an appointment at the Morris Local Board of Appeal and Equalization.

Only the folders of the taxpayers that made appointments with our office are brought to the Morris Local Board of Appeal and Equalization. Recommendations are made at the time of the Board meeting because property has already been viewed.

• Before attending any Local Board of Appeal and Equalization it is important to call the office and discuss the questions. A lot of the questions can be answered prior to the Local Board of Appeal and Equalization and also the taxpayer is more informed before attending the Local Board of Appeal and Equalization.

The assessor's office will also set up an appointment with the local assessor in your taxing district if the county can't answer the questions.

• Limited market value was eliminated for the 2009 assessment. So the taxable market value and the estimated market value will be the same for the 2009 pay 2010 assessment unless the Legislature makes a change.

• The Equalization card has information on the front and back. The appeal process is listed on the back.

• Anyone wanting to attend the County Board of Appeal and Equalization must first attend the Local Board of Appeal and Equalization.

Appointments have to be made for the County Board of Appeal and Equalization with the County Assessor. Only taxpayers with appointments will be on the agenda for the County Board of Appeal and Equalization.

Some of the changes that were made for the 2009 assessment:

Raised tillable land

Raised tillable land average of 10 percent, which varies by township because of sales. Average estimated market value of tillable land is $2,648 an acre for Stevens County. The sale prices range from the lowest at $2,256 to the highest at $4,341 per tillable acre for the sales period from October 2007 thru October 2008.

Rural Residential Property

Building values vary by township by sales that took place in each taxing district. All Rural Residential Land was increased in the County varies by taxing district.

In the City of Morris, residential increases and decreases are done by neighborhoods. They will be an average increase or decrease between 0 percent to 5 percent. If you received an increase, so did your neighborhood. This does not include new construction.

In the City of Morris, commercial property and apartment adjustments were made on some commercial property. Some areas of commercial land were increased. Some commercial building values are being adjusted also for equalization purposes.

Residential property values in Hancock City, Alberta City, Donnelly City and Chokio City were adjusted for equalization purposes only no city wide increases.

For meeting locations and other questions, call the assessor's office (320) 589-7407.