Many Pine County residents have not claimed their property tax refunds.
According to Pine County Assessor Lorri Houtsma, 67% of eligible homeowners claimed their 2018 property tax refunds in 2019. The refunds totaled $1,724,000 and the average refund was $725.
That leaves 33% of eligible homeowners who did not apply. They left an estimated $860,000 in refunds with the state. Homeowners can still file for their refund for the last two years.
Houtsma said homeowners can look at the back of their most recent property tax statement to see the income based threshold for each year. She said the state has expanded the rules for refunds, allowing more residents to apply.
For example, on the back of the 2019 property tax statement it states that if a homeowners taxes exceed certain income based thresholds and the total household income is less than $113,150 the homeowner may qualify for a refund.
When homeowners ask why their property tax has increased, Houtsma explains how the values and classification process works and helps them look for other options that might help them.
“They may not get the answer they want but they get the information they need,” Houtsma said.
There is also a special property tax refund for homeowners whose property taxes increased by 12% or more and at least $100 from 2018-2019. The increase must be due to taxes only and not improvements to the property.
Qualifying senior citizens who need help paying property taxes can file for a property tax deferral. The homeowner must be 65 or older, have a household income of $60,000 or less and lived in the home for the last 15 years. Homeowners should be aware that a tax lien will be placed on the property until the deferred taxes are repaid, according to the Minnesota Department of Revenue.
There is also a homestead exclusion for veterans with a disability. A surviving spouse of a qualifying veteran can also take advantage of the exclusion. Veterans with 70% or greater service connected disability may qualify for an exclusion of property taxes of up to $150,000 of market value.
The forms and more information can be found on the MDR website at www.revenue.state.mn.us/property-tax-refund or call 1-651-296-3781.
Call the Pine County assessor’s office Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30p.m. at 320-591-1632 for questions about property value and/or classifications.