Proposed 2020 property tax notices and county truth in taxation hearing

By Scott Felten

Mower County Auditor-Treasurer

Most Mower County property owners should have received their 2020 proposed property tax notice in the mail in the past couple of days. This statement is sometimes referred to as a “TNT Notice” which stands for “Truth in Taxation” since the notice also lists the date, time, and location of various truth in taxation meetings for the county, any city with a population of over 500, and each school district.

The tax amounts on the notice are an estimate of the real estate (property) taxes payable in 2020, based on the assessed estimated market value as of Jan. 2, 2019. The estimated taxes are calculated by the County Auditor-Treasurer’s office and are based on the preliminary 2020 tax levy of the county as well as on the preliminary tax levy of the city or township, school district, and watershed district where the property is located, as set in September 2019. Mower County’s portion of the estimated property taxes is based on a preliminary 2020 tax levy of $22,578,719, a 3.5 percent increase over 2019.

Scott Felten, Mower County Auditor-Treasurer

Property owners may see an increase of more or less than this 3.5 percent amount depending on factors such as: the tax levy of other local taxing authorities, an increase or decrease in taxable market value, a change in property classification, a change in cross county values, or having exceeded the homestead tier limit. Some tax notices will reflect an estimated tax decrease.

Final 2020 tax levies will be approved by all tax authorities in December 2019. The final levy amounts will be used to calculate the actual taxes payable in 2020 and will be reflected on the 2020 property tax statements that will be sent out in late March 2020 by the Auditor-Treasurer’s office. 

The proposed property tax notice does not include the amount of any special assessments, such as for recycling, septic system loans, or street or sidewalk improvements.  These amounts will appear on the actual 2020 tax statement.

Mower County’s truth in taxation (TNT) hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 3, in the Commissioners’ Board Room in the basement of the Mower County Government Center.  The TNT hearing provides property owners with an opportunity to hear about the county’s proposed 2020 budget, as well as ask questions about the county’s tax levy for 2020.

The taxable market value of each parcel is used to calculate the property taxes on that parcel.  However, the TNT hearing is not the place to question the property valuation. The time to question the property’s estimated market value for taxes payable in 2020 was in the spring of 2019 after property owners received a Notice of Valuation and Classification in the mail in March 2019 from the County Assessor’s office.

In March 2020, the County Assessor’s office will mail a Notice of Valuation and Classification to each owner of real and personal property. The estimated market value, as of Jan. 2, 2020, listed on that notice will be used for calculating property taxes payable in 2021. If a property owner should have questions on the property value and/or property classification in the spring of 2020, they should call the Mower County Assessor’s Office. 

Also remember that Monday, Dec. 16, 2019, is the deadline for turning in a Homestead Application to the Mower County Assessor’s office in order to receive the homestead property classification for taxes payable in 2020.

Any Mower County property owner who does not receive their 2020 proposed property tax notice by November 30 should contact the Mower County Auditor-Treasurer’s office at 507-437-9535. It is possible that the current address of the owner of the parcel may not be on file.

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